- A monk that looks suspiciously like Jean-Luc Picard dwells on the island of Entrana and builds a balloon "to explore new frontiers". The balloon is then destroyed by Larry, Moe, and Curly.
- There's a quest called "Vampyre Slayer".
- Quiz #4 in the polls, question 7: "What slash defense bonus does the Corrupt Dragon chainbody provide?" One of the possible answers is "Over 9000".
- When Bob gives you your second explorer's ring, he'll mutter about how "Adventurers these days are spoilt rotten. Why, in my day... (mumble)... dragons...(mumble) ...bare hands.
- There is an NPC in the Herblore Habitat by the name of Astlayrix. His examine info is "He'll never give you up and he'll never let you down."
- To put it shortly, half of all objects will have some shout out when you examine them — a good example is summoning familiars, which can range from "Fast cat is fast" to "Definitely not teenaged, although the jury is out on its ninja skills", from "Is it a stone? Is it a crab? No! It's Granite Crab!" to "Kneel to Squid!"
- When giving thieving advice, Darren Lightfinger tells the player:
"It's the eye of the kyatt, it's the will of the heist."
- When Jagex declared their intention to add new abilities to the Ring of Wealth, they prefaced the announcement with "RoW, huh, what is it good for?"
- The examine text for Lumberjack Leif (an NPC on Miscellania) is "He's a lumberjack and he's okay." Additionally, two woodcutting-related Tasks are titled "I'm a Lumberjack and I'm Okay" and "I Sleep All Night and I Work All Day".
- The guards in the towers on Jatizso and Neitiznot can be seen shouting insults to each other. These insults include "Your mother was a Hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries."
- In the old version of the "Wolf Whistle" quest, your character, asked to kill a Wolpertinger, responds "One rabbit stew coming up!" in a reference to the Monty Python and the Holy Grail killer rabbit scene. The Wolpertinger familiar's examine text is "It's just a harmless wee rabbit."
- If you speak with Bob the Cat while your own cat is with you, the two cats will re-enact the dialogue from the Luke, I Am Your Father scene in The Empire Strikes Back. Similarly, if you type "I am your father" into your in-game notepad, the note that shows up will instead say "Nooooooooo!"
- Bork, the Big Ork, summons Ork Legions that spout Borg catchphrases like "Resistance is futile!" and "We are the collective!"
- If you speak to Evil Dave through the NPC Contact spell, you can instruct him to "Build me an army worthy of Zamorak!"
- If you perform poorly in the Great Orb Project minigame, one of the wizards will comment that "This was a disaster! I'm making a note here: HUGE FAILURE." Additionally, the examine text for the portal that transports you between Runecrafting altars is "Look at you, examining things when there's Runecrafting to do." And in the "Meeting History" quest, the examine text for a portal is "There is cake in here, apparently."
- The clock above Catherby's bank is stopped at 10:04, a reference to Back to the Future.
- The Fairy Godfather's henchmen Slim Louie and Fat Rocco both have examine texts that quote Goodfellas.
- The monkey bars in the Brimhaven Agility Arena have examine text that quotes "I Wanna Be Like You", the monkey song from The Jungle Book. The pillars have the examine text "A small step for a player, a giant leap for player kind," a quote from Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. The poison darts have a Bullet Time dodge animation referencing The Matrix.
- The Flared Trousers item changes your "Dance" emote to one used by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Their examine text is "These'll help me stay alive."
- One of the smaller pigs in Draynor Village has the examine text "I shall call him...Mini-Pig." The same reference is duplicated in the examine text of the baby moles in the caves underneath Falador garden.
- The "Zombie Dance" emote is one of the dance moves used in Michael Jackson's Thriller music video. The examine text of the Zombie Boots is "Thrilling!"
- In Dungeoneering, you can get an award for being killed by a Bovimastyx dinosaur. If you do, you'll be treated to a Jurassic Park quote.
- Edgar Allan Poe's short story "A Cask of Amontadillo" is about a wine connoisseur named Fortunato. The wine salesman in Draynor Village is named Fortunato; his examine text is "He looks as if he could do with a sip of Amontillado."
- Naturally, the Raven pet's dialogue contains additional Edgar Allan Poe references.
- If you give a cowbell to the penguin musicians Ping & Pong, they'll use it to play a song. Afterwards, they'll note that it needs more cowbell.
- The examine text for the Rapier is "The very butcher of a silk button," a quote from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
- The "What Lies Below" quest includes an NPC archaeologist named Louisiana Jones. Similarly, the quest "Desert Treasure" includes Asgarnia Smith, also an archaeologist.
- Rock Lobsters are monsters that can be found in the Waterbirth Dungeon. Their examine text is a line from the The B-52s song "Rock Lobster."
It wasn't a rock ... it was a rock lobster!
- Many of the Tasks contain Shout Outs to other works.
- If you give a "Poison chalice" item to King Arthur, he'll tell you "You chose...poorly," quoting a line from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- The Task list includes achievements such as "Cool Story, Bro", "All Your Bass...", "Mack Rolled", and "I Heard You Like Mudskips".
- The "A Void Dance" quest contains the line of dialogue "What is this, I don't even..."
- Many of the quest titles, such as "The Hunt for Red Raktuber", "The Great Brain Robbery" and "A Clockwork Syringe".
- Speaking of "A Clockwork Syringe", the final part of that quest is essentially a big shout-out to Bioshock. You have to infiltrate a facility disguised as what's essentially a Pirate Zombie Big Daddy, and just in case we didn't get it, the examine text for one of the enemies reads "Would you kindly kill these slicers?"
- The Christmas 2011 Event has you gather ingredients for a bunch of goblin chiefs. You placed the ingredients in a cannon and it begins firing out of control. The goblins get hit, but your character dodges the shots by backflipping Matrix style.
- The town crier in Seers' Village will give you the advice, "Be excellent to each other!"
- Estocada, who gives out duellist's caps at the Duel Arena, has dialogue based on The Most Interesting Man in the World, including such lines as "I don't often replace hats, but when I do, I choose to replace duellist's caps." and "Stay victorious, my friend." As a bonus, his examine text quotes a line of Inigo Montoya's dialogue from The Princess Bride.
- There's a fishing quest called "Deadliest Catch".
- Zachory Bragg, of the Temple Trekking/Burgh de Rott Ramble minigame, has a personality loosely based on Zapp Brannigan of Futurama. His dialogue includes several Brannigan quotes, like "Be careful; this whole area is uncharted. But that might be because I lost the chart."
- You can knock on a door in the west Varrock bank, and someone asks who's there. This is a setup for a knock-knock joke, and you're provided with three responses. One of them is "Doctor".
- Also, there are two children, Amelia and Rory, in Morytania who idolize the hero of the Myreque. They're convinced he wears a bowtie, so you can't convince them you're that hero.
- There's a mini game on Lunar Isle where you help a magical farmer to grow Triffids, er, Livids.
- The fights in the Dominion Tower seem to pay tribute to Mortal Kombat. The health bars on the top of the screen, plus the inhumane voice narrating, adds to the Mortal Kombat theme. There's even a special fight named "Finish Him!".
- The Squeal of Fortune's name is an obvious play on the Wheel of Fortune.
- The Party Demon from July 2012's 200m Milestone Celebration event shouts such disco catchphrases as "That's not the way -- uh-huh, uh-huh -- I like it!", "Feel the disco inferno!", "I won't stop till I get enough!", and "I will survive!"
- The Gielinor Games share a symbol close to the Olympic Rings. It features the symbols of the gods, in place of the colored rings.
- Shout-outs from the "Some Like It Cold" quest:
- Ping and Pong dress up as Freddie Mercury and Gene Simmons.
- The title of the quest is a pun on Some Like It Hot.
- The "Battlefish" game played during the quest is, of course, Battleship.
- The seals think your performance needs more cowbell.
- Given that the quest has both a walrus and an eggman, it shouldn't be surprising that Larry quotes a certain Beatles song.
- Ping and Pong have apparently pulled a Bill & Ted and beaten Death (presumably at a game of Battlefish).
- The operator of Botany Bay's real name is Matthew Hopscotch, who's named after Matthew Hopkins, the original Witchfinder General.
- In "Stolen Hearts," you leap and climb across desert rooftops similarly to Assassin's Creed. If there were any doubts, the sequel has you perform a Leap of Faith into a bale of hay.
- This nugget of dialogue is nestled in the section of "What's Mine Is Yours" where Doric and Boric work out their issues.
Player: Boric, tell Doric who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
Boric: Doric stole the cookie from the cookie jar!
Doric: Who, me?
Boric: Yes, you!
Doric: Not me, couldn't be!
Boric: Actually as you're the only other person who lives here it must have been you.
Doric: Well, maybe I did... what of it?
- The Player-Owned Ports contain a nifty string of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic references. Asides from having "Twilight Sparkle", "Nightmare Moon", and "Element of Harmony" as possible ship names, each of the six regions in the archipelago has an island named for one of the show's six lead characters:
- Tuai Leit: "If a westerner has met a sea singer, soothsayer or siren, it was likely here; it is a minor centre of study and research for those not enamored of the civilized east." (Twilight Sparkle, the bookish unicorn devoted to her study of magic.)
- Ai Jei: "One of the larger eastern islands. Produces gunpowder which is traded with the rest of the Wushanki Isles, and also grows apples. The ruling khan is territorial and hostile towards all westerners." (Applejack, who works on an apple farm.)
- Rei Ti: "A mining colony originally built to dig for black slate; it has become highly prosperous since discovering large quantities of high-quality gems." (Rarity, a unicorn with a fondness for gemstones.)
- Ren Bo: "Swift currents, strong wingsnote and a remarkably stable micro climate make the average temperature of this island lower than its neighbors. Rumors exist of a Purist movement having made it their headquarters." (Rainbow Dash, an athletic pegasus who helps control the weather, and the Trope Namer for Twenty Percent Cooler.)
- Kei Pi: "The people of Kei Pi are renowned for their energy and hedonism, although some say that the vicious group of pirates known as the Pin operate out of a hidden base here." (Pinkie Pie, a hyperactive pony who loves to party.)
- Flou Tar-Shei: "Officially accorded neutral ground, this island is a place of peace. Khans can relax here, if nowhere else." (Fluttershy, who is quiet and gentle.)
- In the backstory of the Eastern Lands, you learn about someone named Quin trying to take over. The Dragon to Quin is someone named Discord, a character on the show.
- There area a couple more references to FiM.
Brian O'Richard: The pressure will become dangerous in ten seconds flat so, if you don't leave in that time, the safety systems in the factory will remove you for your own good."
Kaqemeex: The trolls represent disorder. For us it is a major, immediate imbalance to the elements of harmony. But we need to call upon Guthix to right it with all haste.
- The Captain's Log for your player-owned port starts with the "Runedate" (which is actually the number of days Runescape has been active).
- When speaking with Meg the Adventurer, one of the dialogue options is "Shut up, Meg." () Her hairstyle is the same as Meg Griffin's as well.
- In The World Wakes, at one point you need to assign different NPC allies to different fights, based on their strengths and weaknesses. One of the fights is against Zemouregal and his zombie army. The correct choice to fight them? The plant-like automatons led by Cres.
- And if Fiara dies during the quest, her replacement at Fist of Guthix is a druid called Coulson.
- When you have the complete Maul of Omens in the boss fight against Vorago, the left click option is "Finish Him!"
- One of the low-level magic-boosting prayers is called "Unrelenting Force".
- During The Death of Chivalry, Sir Owen is killed and turned into a zombie. His examine text is "High octane knightmare fuel."
- Similarly, if you try to advance to the next part without putting him (and the others) down nets you 'You must slaughter your zombies before venturing forth!', a play on the infamous message from Baldur's Gate.
- The examine text for one of the antagonists of the quest is "Living dead girl."
- The Agility trainer in Burthorpe is named Drill Sergeant Hartman.
- The various Muspah on Freneskae look remarkably similar to hydralisks.
- During "Plague's End", when the player confronts King Lathas' loyal paladin captain, Sir Hugo:
- A chicken that respawns bearing the very rare off-handed rubber chicken will say "I have returned!"
- The cooking instructor in Taverley is Mess Sargent Ramsay, and every conversation with him begins with him yelling about some mishap in the kitchen.
- A dwarf trademan in Varrock is named Urist.