Shout Out: Kingdom Hearts
To the Final Fantasy games (mostly VII)
- The majority of Mook Nobodies are named after the various job classes in the Final Fantasy series, and often behave as such.
- The poses Sora does when he wins a tournament round in the first game are victory poses from Final Fantasy VII, VIII and X.
- Most of the Gummi Ship names are names of various airships from the Final Fantasy games.
- Also in Kingdom Hearts II, when Cloud goes up against Sephiroth, Sephiroth begins his Hannibal Lecture. Cloud tells him to shut up.
- At the end of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Donald tells Sora to "calm down and drink (his) tea", a much less raunchy version of the original line.
- The Parasite Cage Heartless in the first game bears many similarities to an early boss in Final Fantasy IX, Prison Cage. In both games, a character (Pinocchio in Kingdom Hearts and Garnet, then Vivi, in Final Fantasy IX) gets trapped inside the creature, and the main character (Sora/Zidane) must work together with his at-the-time enemy (Riku/Steiner) to free them. Both enemies are fought twice in total. Vivi and Pinocchio also share some similarities, as Pinocchio is a puppet who possesses a heart and a conscience, and Vivi is an artificial lifeform who also possesses a conscience and "heart".
To other franchises
- The Darkside Heartless is named after Tales from the Darkside, an anthology horror TV series. The Twilight Thorn is called Twilight Zone in Japanese, referencing another famous horror TV series.
- Part of End of the World from the first game seems to have been inspired by Nowhere.
- Xigbar's title, "Freeshooter", is taken from the title of the German opera Der Freischütz. The eponymous marksman makes a Deal with the Devil in exchange for seven magical bullets; the first six are controlled by the marksman while the seventh is controlled by the Devil.
- While fighting the hydra in Kingdom Hearts II, you can use a reaction command called "Urninator".
- In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, there's a set of weapons called Casual Gear. When this is equipped, Demyx's sitar turns into a tennis racket. It's name? Prince of Awesome. Another of Demyx's weapons in Days is called "Up To Eleven".
- The last Gummi route in II, Assault of the Dreadnought, is a direct homage to Star Wars, particularly the Death Star battles in A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Likewise, as a continuous homage to the theme naming from the Final Fantasy series, two shopkeepers (one in Twilight Town, the other in Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden) are named after Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles, though the presence of Jessie confirms they are based on the Biggs and Wedge of Final Fantasy VII, instead.
- The leaves in the Golden Wood section (which is exclusive to Riku) in Symphony of Sorcery (in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance) will play notes sounding similar to the solfège (do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti), which was made famous by The Sound of Music.
- The name of the Keychain obtained from The Grid, the Dual Disc, seems to serve as a pun to a certain gadget invented by Seto Kaiba.
- Probably unintentional, but in the 2.5 version of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, the trophy obtained from completing the Pride Lands is called "Return of the King".
- Young Xehanort belts out a "TOKI YO TOMARE!" in the Japanese version of KH3D when he momentarily stops time to rewind to the start of the boss battle. He also has an attack where he generates Icicles that after a brief flash of light, are inexplicably going to converge on Riku
- In the manga adaptation for Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Doraemon and the Anywhere Door is mentioned when Sora and his friends enter the memory-based version of Traverse Town.
- Since Demyx is a spoof of David Bowie, his infamous quote, "Dance Water Dance", was taken from the song "Dance Magic Dance", which Bowie sang in the Cult Classic film Labyrinth.