Shout Out: Duke Nukem

The series is the ancestor of all first person shooter nods to both films and other videogames.

As such, every Continuity Nod, Mythology Gag, Captain Ersatz, "No Celebrities Were Harmed", Expy, and Shout-Out reference in any of these games go here.

Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II

  • In the "Mercury Mines" level of Duke Nukem 1, Dr. Proton issues a taunt via a monitor:note 
    "Why bother Duke? Not even Commander Keen could survive the perils of my Mercury Mines!"
  • In the story of Duke Nukem, Duke says after he's defeated Dr. Proton, he'll still have time to watch Oprah.
  • In the gameplay demo from the intro of Duke Nukem, one of the advertisement texts reads the game "beats Nintendo easily".
  • Some of the graphics of Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II look a lot like those of Turrican.
  • Some of the music pieces of Duke Nukem II have also references to other works:
    • One song, "Squeak", sounds a lot like "Skin O' My Teeth" by Megadeth.
    • The song "He's Back" is based on "Angry Again" by Megadeth.
    • The main theme from Desert Strike plays on one level.
  • In Duke Nukem II, if the player collects the letters N, U, K, E and M in that order, they will get many bonus points (and less if they do it in another order). The same thing is in Duke Nukem I with letters D, U, K and E.

Duke Nukem 3D

  • LameDuke, an old beta version of the game, has a few:
    • There are health-giving cola cans as single items and as sixpacks scattered around the game world. They refer to similar health items in the first two Duke Nukem games, and their brand name is "Cola-Cola" which refers to the real-world drink Coca-Cola. One level (E2L4) also has a window with the text "Cola-Cola" painted on it.
    • There are True Lies posters in one level (E1L6).
    • Some elevators in E1L7 play Van Morrison's Brown-Eyed Girl.
    • Some assets are also from Rise of the Triad which was also under production at the time:
      • two pieces of music: "Goin' down the Fast Way" and "Mist Ache"
      • A trap which periodically shoots flames (It is also fully functional in the final game but unused).
    • The Capitol Records building is featured in E2L4.
    • An overview of Los Angeles (based on real photograph(s)) is shown in end-of-level graphics of E2 when the debug mode is off.
    • Hollywood Boulevard, Vine Street and part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame all appear in the game.
    • One of the levels (E2L1) partially takes place in the Los Angeles River.
  • Some development screenshots, released concept art and the leaked beta version also have some which never made it to the final game:
    • One screenshot has the main entrance of a cinema with the movie title "Slashmaster II". This is a reference to the slasher movie genre.
    • As seen in the concept art, a "Caterkillar" (a play on the tool and machine manufacturer Caterpillar) laser chainsaw was intended to be one of the weapons. It was basically a beam sword.
    • According to a script file in the leaked beta, one of the levels was going to take place on the Santa Monica Pier.
    • In the leaked beta, there is a mention of a level named "Apogee Arms Hotel".
  • E1L1, "Hollywood Holocaust":
    • The level is based on Escape from New York.
    • 867 5309 written on the wall in the cinema restroom. It's a reference to the song "867-5309/Jenny" by Tommy Tutone.
    • A Duke Nukem II game in the arcade (the previous game in the series)
    • A Balls of Steel pinball machine in the arcade (Apogee would later release Balls of Steel for Windows)
    • The "innocent?" billboard at the beginning of the level is reportedly also referring to OJ Simpson.
  • E1L2, "Red Light District"
    • On the TVs in the bar area of the strip club is OJ Simpson's white Bronco.
    • The bar music sounds a bit like the Mortal Kombat theme and is named "Mortail Wombat".
  • E1L3, "Death Row":
    • A hanging monk from Rise of the Triad.
    • The "doomed" space marine.
    • The poster in one of the cells covering a tunnel to the outside is a reference to The Shawshank Redemption.
    • Later on, the player encounters Hannibal Lecter standing in his prison cell. (N64 version only)
  • E2L2, "Incubator", has at least two occurrences of the number 1138.
  • E2L3, "Warp Factor", is one big Shout-Out to Star Trek, from the overall shape of the level, to the secret mockup of the TNG Enterprise bridge.
    • After revealing two secrets, the player can visit the bridge of the Enterprise, NCC-1701D, as well as Picard's "Ready Room".
  • E2L6, "Tiberius Station", was named after James Tiberius Kirk.
  • E2L7, "Lunar Reactor" contains a mutilated Luke Skywalker hanging upside down in stormtrooper armor.
    "Now this is a force to be reckoned with!"
  • E2L8, "Dark Side", includes the monolith from 2001: A Space Oddysey near the end.
  • E3L1, "Raw Meat", starts with Duke sprouting the infamous ChewBubblegum line. He can also sing "BOOOORN TO BE WIIIILD" in the karaoke. The name of the karaoke music is "Or Not to be Wild".
  • E3L4, "L.A. Rumble", has a building that crumbles due to an earthquake looks exactly like the building where id Software's offices are in. While the building crumbles Duke will state "I ain't afraid of no Quake!"
  • E3L5, "Movie Set" is a movie set where a film based on the previous episode is being filmed. The helicopter that crashes at the start hits a water tower (a possible shout-out to Warner Bros, there). The poster for the film shows up in a couple of later levels, too.
  • E3L7 is named "Fahrenheit", the music is called "233.778 Celsius" and a fire engine is numbered "451". All of these are references to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.note 
  • E3L8, "Hotel Hell", has a secret area, found by entering behind the pool's waterfall, where Indiana Jones is speared.
    "We meet again, Dr. Jones."
  • E3L11, "Freeway", includes a flattened Terminator in a compactor. When you go inside for a look:
    "Terminated!"
    • Near the end of the level, the player will face a police car on its side with the number 54. This is an homage to Car 54, Where Are You?
    • The blimp advertises for Homer Simpson's beer.
    • There's TV footage parodying the OJ Simpson car chase. It also shows up in several other levels, notably E 1 L 2 and E 3 L 1.
  • E4L1, "It's Impossible", is a big Shout-Out to Mission: Impossible, but also includes a corridor of opening doors, along the lines of the Get Smart opening titles.
    • There are also magazines featuring Moger Roore on the cover.
    • There are also an umbrella and a hat hanging under the sign "Steed" in the level - an obvious reference to The Avengers
    • And, of course, a sign of U.N.C.L.E.
  • E4L2, "Duke Burger", has Butthead through the drive-thru speaker of the restaurant, admonishing the player to leave, because the place is 'like, closed'.
    • The list of specials includes references to Pulp Fiction - Big Kahuna Burgers are most prominent.
    • Not to mention the brief appearance of "Scrappy Due".
  • E4L3, "Shop-N-Bag", is based on a real chain of stores with the same name which closed down in the late 1990s.
    • At one point, Duke comes across a badly mutilated corpse dangling from the ceiling. Said body is that of Snake Plissken. If the player takes a closer look at it:
    "Huh. Guess he didn't escape from L.A."
  • E4L5, "Pigsty", contains several desk name-blocks which reference a number of characters in law enforcement from 'Die Hard, Judge Dredd and Dirty Harry''.
    • The car-crashing-into-police-station sequence is a reference to The Terminator, complete with Duke saying "I'll be back".
  • E4L6, "Going Postal", includes a reference to The Simpsons - "trab pu kcip", to be viewed through a mirror. It also contains the infamous composite sketch of the Unabomber.
  • E4L8, "Critical Mass", has a secret area which is a mock-up of Homer Simpson's work area, including donuts on the console and a sign saying "Sector 7-G".
  • E4L9, "Derelict", is a tanker named Valdez 2.
  • E4L11, "Area 51", has a few for Independence Day.
  • Duke's "Groovy" and "Hail to the king, baby!" are references to Evil Dead.
  • When you approach a captured woman, she'll spout "Kill Me". It's a reference to Aliens.
  • The Chaingun Cannon is a Russian made Pribor-3B Nordenfelt gun.
  • The text on the shotgun ammo boxes looks like it reads Remington.
  • Episode 3 has the same name as Episode 1 in Duke Nukem I, "Shrapnel City".
  • The title screen is a parody of the poster of Army of Darkness.
  • The theme music, "Grabbag", is mostly influenced by Pantera, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath and Rick Wakeman.
  • Some music is inspired by Black Sabbath, Megadeth and Metallica.
  • The game has a special effect where the ceiling of a sector falls when a shot or an explosion hits within the sector. In the source code, this is called "Battle Star Galactica shields".
  • The doors that shrink sideways when opened and stretch horizontally when closed are called "Star Trek doors" in the documentation.
  • Visa and Master Card logos appear in cash registers throughout the game.
  • The Playstation port (Total Meltdown) has a control scheme called "Doomed", named such because it's based on the default control scheme of the Playstation Doom port.
    • The same port also add a new episode which features a few levels spoofing popular Playstation games: "Nightmare Zone" is based on the first level of Tomb Raider, "Trackside Tragedy" parodies Wipeout and "Gates Motel" pastiches Resident Evil and horror movies.

Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach

  • The recurring boat is titled Kobayashi Maru. Three guesses where that comes from.
  • The title theme for the expansion pack is based on the Hawaii Five-O theme.
  • The key cards are replaced by Vista credit cards.
  • L1 has Duke singing a Beach Boys song.
  • L2 features a quote from The Fifth Element.
  • L5 has quotes from Fantasy Island.

Duke It Out In D.C.

  • L1, "Hell to the Chief", is based on the White House, of course.
  • L2, "Memorial Service", is based on the Lincoln Memorial.
  • L3, "Nuked Files", is based on the FBI Offices. The name is a riff on The X-Files.
  • L4, "Smithsonian Terror", is based on the Smithsonian Museum, down to the exhibits.
  • L5, "Capitol Punishment", is based on the Capitol, yes it is.
  • The secret level, L10, "Top Secret", was based in part on a user map named "Aztec".
  • L7, "Dread October", is referencing The Hunt for Red October.

Duke: Nuclear Winter

  • L1 and L2 are essentially E1L2 and E1L1, respectively, done in reverse.
  • L3, "Land of Forgotten Toys", features Mario playing Mario Kart and a portion of E1L1 from the original Doom as part of the level.

Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project

Duke Nukem Forever

  • In the first room, there are names of all ex-3DRealm employees on a plaque above the football uniforms, including Broussard's.
  • One of the things Duke sees while flipping TV Channels is The Holsom Twins' music video, from the album Full House...
  • The name of the late night show host is actually a combination of the names of various Real-Life late night show hosts.
    Johnny Carson, Conan O' Brien, Jay Leno and David Letterman
  • At the late night show Damn, It's Late, if Duke speaks into the mic, he boasts, "I am the Duke! I am A-number one!" It's not the last time he says it.
  • The computers in the Duke Cave show a BIOS screen resembling those of an Award BIOS PC when booting up.
  • When shrunken in the casino, after killing some rats, Duke will comment, "Talk about Rodents of Unusual Size!"
  • Killing some aliens, Duke will sometimes say, "Remember when I said I'd kill you last? I lied."
  • When the first Battlelord appears, Duke yells, "You are one, ugly motherfucker!"
  • At one point, Duke finds a certain set of green armor, and snarks, "Power armor is for pussies!" Overlaps with Mythology Gag, since Duke found a dead DOOM marine in Duke Nukem 3D, which he commented, "That's one DOOMED marine!"
    • Also overlaps with Take That, aimed at God Mode, as the Marine says "Duke, we got your green power armor!" just before Duke snarks at him.
  • Duke comes across an EDF soldier who knew Duke's retirement "bullshit was just bullshit". He then goes on in a mocking voice about how he just helped one of his friends find his wife and calls his friend a pussy.
  • The game's Regenerating Health bar being an Ego bar might be a reference to the Ego system on Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project, where Duke would get ego by shooting things, freeing women and, of course getting ego boxes.
  • The first level of the game is a boss fight against the Cycloid Emperor, last boss of the third episode of Duke Nukem 3D, taking place in the very same stadium...sort of.
  • The "Balls Of Steel" edition and the achievement of the same name might be references to an old 3D Realms pinball, and a Shout-Out to a line that quickly became memetic due to a harassment video where Duke's voice lines from Duke Nukem 3D were played to infuriate a Ventrilo server admin.
    • "I'ma kill you old style!" is a reference to said harassment.
  • Duke's autobiography, "Why I'm So Great," was first mentioned in Duke Nukem II.
  • In the First Access Demo, when exploring some mining tunnels, as Duke breaks through wooden barricades, he declares his need for a crowbar in a situation like that.
  • The Railgun in the First Access Demo looks and sounds suspiciously like the Quake III: Arena railgun.
    • The Railgun in the released game, when zoomed in, uses the same scope overlay as Call of Duty 4's sniper rifles.
  • The four achievements for completing the campaign in Easy, Normal, Hard and Insane are called Piece of Cake, Let's Rock, Come Get Some and Damn, I'm Good.
  • Another achievement, for hitting 15 aliens with melee attacks while in Berserk Mode is called Duke Angry, Duke Smash!
  • The four-digit code that Duke enters into the Super Turret is 1138.
  • Duke's monster truck is called Duke's Mighty Foot.
  • The twins that appear in the game are called the Holsom twins, alluding to the Olsen Twins. This is not the only reference they are to, however, since their multiplayer reward description is "2 Girls, 1 Duke", referencing infamous Shock Site 2girls1cup.
  • Several in the Strip Club level:
  • In a specific part of the chapter "The Hive", a decapitated soldier and a very familiar-looking helmet can be found, which Duke comments on by saying "That is one Dead Space marine!"
  • You get an achievement for sticking enemy with a laser tripmine called "Sticky bomb like you!"
  • Early in the "Vegas in Ruins" chapter, Duke gets assigned to accompany a private named Jenkins. He immediately runs right ahead of you into the action, disregarding any tactics, and as a result, he dies quickly. Sounds familiar?
    • Duke moans, "Damnit, Leeroy!" as well.
  • All of the cash registers have the value of $847.63
  • "I'm from Las Vegas and I say kill 'em all!"
  • In the freezer room with all the pipes, Duke says "I hate valve puzzles."
    • Perhaps doubling as a shout-out to Francis.
  • Duke Burger (which itself appeared first in Plutonium Pak/Atomic Edition of Duke 3D) has a music which is a remake of the background music of the original Duke Burger level in Duke Nukem 3D.
  • When Duke stomps on a tiny Pigcop in Duke Burger, one of his lines is "Better than Freckle Bitch's!"
  • "Duke Burger" itself may be a Stealth Pun on "The Burger King" (because Duke is King).
  • In one part of the Hoover Dam, Duke ascends a long spiral stairway while dodging incoming barrels, remarking "Where's a hammer when you need one? He finds a Pigcop at the top, but remarks he was expecting a monkey.
  • The ending is a parody of Jackson's death and the ending of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, to which Duke replies "What kind of shit ending is that?"
  • Sometimes, if Duke steps on a rat, he'll say, "See you later, Mickey!"
  • The girl in the Duke Burger kitchen may wonder if "there'll be another season of Lightning Bug."
  • Behind the set of the "Damn It's Late Show" there's a stage hand getting berated by an angry actor for walking across the stage during filming, a parody of Christian Bale's infamous rant on the set of Terminator Salvation. Duke can even punch him out:
    Stage Hand: Thanks Duke. That guy was a douche.
  • After killing the Triple Boob Monster, nearby is some evidence Sam & Max: Freelance Police were there.
    • On seeing the said monster, Duke quips, "Baby, you make me wish I had three guns", a reference to the original Total Recall (1990).
  • Upon cracking open a supply crate, Duke might say "I'd buy this for a dollar", or "I like it!"
  • One of the ambient music files is named WormHole_Xtreme.
  • The aerial assault level prior to getting the Mighty Foot features "Ride of the Valkyries" as the soundtrack, slowly creeping from orchestra into heavy metal. Neat!
  • If Duke gibs another player online, he will sometimes boast "I'm a mushroom-cloud laying motherfucker!"
  • Occasionally after getting drunk, Duke will shout "You're my boy, Blue!" which was one of Will Ferrel's lines from Old School.
  • While persuading Duke to run a few errands, the stripper promises him a lapdance... and cake.
    • There's a hidden room in the dam where you can find a barrel with hearts on it. Placing this barrel on a button will unlock the achievement Companion Barrel, a reference to the Companion Cubes in Portal.
  • In one level, "Lo Wang was here" is scrawled on a wall.
  • When shrunk during Duke Burger stage, during navigating a room with electrified floor, music suspiciously reminiscent of MouseHunt will play.
  • The first DLC includes quite a bit of snapping towards other multiplayer games and websites, with new maps called "Call of Duke" and "2forts1bridge".
  • Octobrains, underwater. Does this reminds you of anything?
  • America, Fuck yeah!
  • The computer in the Duke Cave, when the power goes down, talks suspiciously like SHODAN.
  • "Get off my dam!"
  • The music played at the Duke Dome, with the air raid siren, is lifted from Fallout.
  • Sometimes, when Duke kills a Pig Cop, he'll quip, "Porkchop sandwiches."
  • The single-player DLC campaign is titled The Doctor Who Cloned Me.
  • At the beginning of the first DLC, Duke wakes up in an interrogation room which appears extremely similar to the one in Call of Duty: Black Ops.
  • The first enemy he faces is a robotic endoskeleton called a Dukeinator.
  • Doctor Proton looks like a Borg from the waist up.
  • To insult Doctor Proton, Duke calls him a "spidermonkey".
  • When Doctor Proton recharges his energy, he exclaims: "Power! Unlimited power!
  • The donkey in the safety video in Area 51 and outside the Burning Bush refers to the 1999 iteration of DNF, where Duke would've met an old miner named Gus, who would've lent him his donkey to reach the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
  • The Impregnader is a weapon that works exactly like the GES BioRifle.
  • One of the things Duke will say when shrunk by the Shrink Ray in multiplayer matches is "Go fuck yourself, San Diego."

Other Duke games