Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat
- Let's start with Liu Kang.
- In his Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe ending, Liu Kang gains the ability to summon the powers of the Elder Gods by shouting "MORTAL KOMBAT!", much like Captain Marvel's powers.
- In Shaolin Monks, he has a Fatality named Shaolin Head Soccer.
- In Mortal Kombat X his throat-ripping fatality surely reminds people of MacGruber.
- Scorpion's blazing skull is an homage to Ghost Rider.
- In the official Mortal Kombat comic book, Scorpion grabs Sub-Zero and tells him to look into his eyes. This is an even clearer reference to Ghost Rider and his Penance Stare power.
- After defeating Scorpion in Shaolin Monks, Scorpion gets dragged into the lava by skeletons. As his arm goes in, he gives the player a thumbs up. This is a reference to Terminator 2 ending, in which the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) gives John a thumbs up before he gets engulfed by molten metal.
- Kano's eye-plate is just like the Terminator.
- Deadly Alliance has a fake cereal advertisement showing Kano eating a bowl of Kan-Os.◊
- Raiden's most iconic traits, namely his electric powers and his conical straw hat, were both designed after Lightning, one of the three servants of Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China.
- In his arcade ending in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Raiden finds himself being weakened under Earth's sun, but can regain his power so long as he keeps a mysterious green rock nearby; this is an inversion of how Superman's powers work.
- Also in vs. DCU, his trademark Torpedo special is renamed as "The Superman".
- Raiden's second fatality in 9, "Just a Scratch", is a reference to Monty Python's Black Knight scene in the Search for the Holy Grail.
- Johnny Cage was inspired directly off of Jean-Claude Van Damme's character in Bloodsport. This is because the game was originally planned as a Bloodsport tie-in game.
- In Deadly Alliance, apparently, he was a contestant in Smash TV. From the same game, one of Johnny's films was entitled Exiting the Dragon of Death. He starred opposite Hong Kong action star Channie Jack.
- In 9 Cage starred in various movies titled Time Smashers, Citizen Cage, and Tommy Scissorfists. In one of the Challenge Tower missions, Reptile tries to stop him from reaching the premiere of Breaknose Mountain.
- In X, one of his Fatalities has him recreating a classic scene from The Shining, complete with Johnny saying "HEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!"
- Sonya is inspired by the karate champion and movie actress Cynthia Rothrock.
- In her Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe ending, she acquires a Green Lantern ring, but because she isn't a member of the Green Lantern Corps, the ring only gets one charge and she has to use it sparingly until she gains a means to recharge it.
- Her costume redesign in 9 is interesting, however, given one of her Fatalities involves piano wire, it hints at Cammy's portrayal in Street Fighter II V.
- In the Krypt of Deadly Alliance, one can unlock a picture of Lifeguard Sonya.◊ Her red bikini makes her heavily resemble Pamela Anderson of Baywatch fame.
- In the first game, Shang Tsung's role is similar to that of Mr. Han from Enter the Dragon. His Evil Sorcerer-ness, however, is pure Lo Pan.
- The code ABACABB, in the Sega Genesis version, unlocked the blood mode.
- In Sub-Zero's ending in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, he becomes Batman.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat II
- Kitana's Animality in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 turns her into a white rabbit. She then proceeds to attack the enemy in some savage manner.
- In 9, her chapter during story mode contains a scene very much like one found in Alien: Resurrection where she finds a lab filled with progressively more human half-breed clones of herself.
- In 4, her facial features are modeled after Talisa Soto, the actress who portrayed Kitana in the theatrical adaptations.
- Jax's fatality in Mortal Kombat 3 in which his arms turn into blades is likely a reference to the T-1000.
- In MK vs DC, his ending is very similar to Cyborg's origin story.
- In 9, one of his fatalities is very similar to Superman's Heroic Brutality in MK vs DC, but with a decapitating kick at the end.
- Kung Lao's weaponized hat gimmick was inspired by Bond's villain Oddjob.
- Jade's alternate costume in 9 looks strikingly similar to that of Slave Leia's, right down to her hairstyle.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat 3
- Cyrax and Sektor seems to be ripped right out of Predator. If you ever had doubts about this one, Cyber Sub-Zero from 9 makes it even more obvious.
- Cyrax's self-destruct fatality has him typing some kind of sequence in a panel in his pulse, like the Predator himself. Later games show that Sektor and Cyber Sub-Zero have similar panels.
- Cyrax uses a "Sabre of Light" in 4. In the PS2 games, Sektor also uses that and was renamed as "Pulse Blades": A blue one (green in Armageddon) for Cyrax, and two red ones for Sektor.
- The gas mask Kabal wears? A tribute to Tusken Raiders.
- Speaking of Star Wars, Kabal was burnt alive, horrifically scarred, and forced to wear a respirator & hide behind a mask the rest of his life? Remind anyone else of Darth Vader?
- One of the game over messages in Shaolin Monks is "Kabal says thank you very much." Aside from referencing the mission in which you can rescue him, Kabal's voice acting appears to be modeled after Elvis Presley.
- Rain's costume is purple, there's also his name, and Armageddon reveals that he's a Prince. Explanation
- Sheeva's arcade ending in 9 involves the Shokan taking control of Australia with the permission of world leaders. This is a possibly reference to Lex Luthor in Superman II.
- Stryker's bio in 9 has him single-handedly defeating the terrorists in the Greenbury Tower Incident and saving an explosive-rigged bus full of civilians while maintaining a high speed. Even further, it refers to him as a "die-hard cop".
- In Armaggedon, Stryker wears a very futuristic suit, giving him a passing resemblance to the main character from Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight, which was originally an unrelated game remodeled to serve as a spin-off for the series. It's worth noticing that in the original game, the character was actually named Stryker instead being passed off as Ken Masters.
- Overall, Stryker's design has him resemble Woody Harrelson to a good degree.
- If Ermac gets knocked off Raiden's Sky Temple in Deception/Unchained and Armageddon, and sent plummeting to his death, he's got two words for ya: "SUCK IT!!!"
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the SNES has the Konami Code as a Classic Cheat Code.
- Brutalities consist of hitting your opponent over and over at high speeds until they explode.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat Mythologies Sub Zero or Mortal Kombat 4:
- Shinnok is an expy of Yan Wang.
- The original Quan Chi is somehow similar to Spawn's demon-in-the-guise-of-an-evil-clown, Violator.
- Reiko's original design in Mortal Kombat 4 bears more than a passing resemblance to Nightwing.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance
- Nitara's character design is a tribute to Vincent Valentine.
- Bo 'Rai Cho's Krypt Comedy Commercial endorses a vomiting-inducing drink called Peptic Thunder,◊ a clear knockoff of Pepto-Bismol.
- Mokap is a tribute to Carlos Pesina, the guy who did some of the MOtion CAPture for Deadly Alliance.
- The poster◊ for the fictional movie Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (starring Johnny Cage, who else?), is an homage to other movies' posters, Army Of Darkness in the middle.
- One of Kenshi's combos is named "Blind Justice", a reference to comic book hero Daredevil, a likely inspiration for the character.
- Kenshi also draws heavily from Zatoichi, the blind swordsman; one of the main differences between the two is that Kenshi wears a blindfold.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat Deception
- Shujinko borrows his alternate outfit from the villain of Master of the Flying Guillotine and his visuals from Kill Bill's Pai Mei.
- Darrius's alternate costume is basically Black Belt Jones with Cool Shades.
- His backstory also has shades of Morpheus.
- Kira has a strong resemblance to the main character of BloodRayne.
- Kobra is a mixture of Johnny Lawrence and Ken Masters.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat Armageddon
- In Kreate a Fighter mode, two of the available hairstyles are Akuma's and Goku's. Although for some reason Goku's is light blue by default.
- There's also Sailor Moon's odango-and-twintails for female fighters.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- In the DC side of the Story mode, after learning that Dark Kahn is behind the whole mess, guess which classic scene The Joker parodies upon hearing his name:
Joker: KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN![Beat]Deathstroke: Shut up, or I'll gut you.
- Batman's ending sees him starting an "Outerworld Monitor and Auto-Containment" system.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat 9
- The "X-Ray" effect used in certain brutal moves from the game will be quite familiar to any fan of Sonny Chiba movies.
- Kratos' pre-fight quote is taken from his speech to Zeus early on in God of War 3 (Kratos' words in 9 are in boldface):
"The hands of Death could not defeat me. The Sisters of Fate could not hold me. And you will not see the end of this day! I will have my revenge!"
- The Challenge Tower, being composed of non-canon mini-games, is choke-full of Shout-outs.
Stryker: Draw on the count of 3, partner!CPU-controlled Stryker: I'm not your partner, buddy!Stryker: I'm not your buddy, pal!
- Challenge Nº 10: This Is The Pits!
- Challenge Nº 15: Walking Dead
- Challenge Nº 47: Who Ya Gonna Call?
- Challenge Nº 53: Frankenstein.
- Challenge N° 62: What Is Your Major Malfunction?
- Challenge Nº 81: When Brigands Attack!
- Challenge N° 86: It's Not Easy (a match between green-clad Jade and Reptile)
- Challenge N° 95: Soul Glow
- Challenge N° 116: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
- Challenge N° 134: New Jax City
- Challenge N° 183: There Can Only Be One
- Challenge N° 188: Arise From Your Grave
- Challenge N° 193: I'm Not Dead Yet
- Challenge Nº 209: Orange you glad I came?
- Challenge N° 223: An Offer You Can't Refuse
- Challenge N° 266: The Duel (in which the following exchange happens:)
- Freddy Krueger has several Fatalities that are reminiscent of the most infamous kills of his home franchise:
- In one, after stabbing his opponent with both sets of claws, he drags him down into a hole that has just appeared. This is then followed by a geyser of blood, similar to how he killed Glen, Nancy's boyfriend, in the very first movie.
- Another has Freddy throwing his opponent into a boiler to be burned alive. This references both his own origin (Freddy was burned alive by vigilante parents who wanted to make him pay for murdering their children) and how he killed the former Final Girl from the third movie as his second kill in the fourth movie.
- Many of his combos are named after lines from the movies, such as "Now You're Playing With Power" or "Never Sleep Again."
- If Stryker finishes Freddy with his Secret Fatality move, Freddy will have a bomb in his body and will explode, much similar to the ending of Freddy's Dead.
- The stage Fatality for the City stage (having the opponent run over by a car) bears a striking similarity to the ending of the fourth Final Destination movie, complete with an X-ray view despite not being an X-ray attack, and leaves a twitching beheaded corpse similar to the first death in that movie.
- Also, the Subway stage fatality might be a reference to The Matrix, where Agent Smith attempts to kill Neo by throwing him onto the path of an incoming train.
- In Kitana's Arcade Ladder ending, three Edenian women (Kitana, Jade, and Mileena) are re-united to fight for justice all over the realms; as the narrator explains this, the three characters are posed in silhouette over an orange background and as the ending fades to black, the music closes with the iconic jingle from the show.
- The new Test Your Strike mini-game has a concept similar to the test given to Frank Dux in Bloodsport, where he had to break one brick out of a pile.
Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat X
- The duo of Ferra/Torr have a very Master Blaster-like dynamic going on, something that has not gone unnoticed by fans or commentators at E3 2014. Their playstyle in general note also calls to mind Chang and Choi in Capcom vs. SNK 2: Torr does the brunt of the brawling and Ferra issues orders, though several specials have her jump into the fray (and off of his shoulders) to help out.
- Issue #3 of the MKX prequel comic calls the Cassie vs. Frost match a Celebrity Deathmatch.
- In issue #5, Cassie is being dominated by Frost. However, after a headbutt comeback, Cassie calls her rival Elsa.
- Chapter 1 of the story mode has Johnny Cage defending himself from Sub-Zero by using a familiar looking crowbar.
- One of the modifiers for Test Your Luck, which spawns random portals in the match, is called "Portal Kombat". The icon for the modifier is inspired by 300.
- Another of the modifiers, which spawns puddles which cause Kombatants to slip, is called "Slippery When Wet".