In Book 3 of the main rules, one possible campaign setting is an After the End world controlled by apes with human-level intelligence. It features semi-intelligent wild humans without the power of speech and mutated humans with severe cosmetic disorders and psychic powers (the films Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes).
The Phoenix Organization's operatives are stored as Human Popsicles in cryosleep capsules in a high tech fortress called Phoenix Base. They were to stay there until the situation was stabilized after the Scourge and they could help civilization rebuild itself (The Morrow Project, which had the same situation, with Morrow Project teams in cryosleep and controlled by a "Prime Base". The Aftermath! product even accidentally called Phoenix Base "Prime Base" once).
Agricola manages to squeeze in a few in the card art. The Stone Carrier (who also appears on the Quarry improvement) kinda looks like Obelix, the Dock Worker is based on Klaus Teuber, creator of Settlers Of Catan, and the Social Climber is a dead ringer for Gaston.
Amber Diceless Role-Playing, based on Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber series. The supplement Shadow Knight has a mini-adventure called "Quest for Frakir". During the adventure the PCs enter a Shadow of the Forest of Arden and encounter spiders that spin webs throughout the trees, have poisonous bites that cause paralysis and pull away paralyzed victims to be hung from trees (the spiders of Mirkwood in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit).
Battlelords of the 23rd Century, Shadis magazine #23 adventure "Bug Hunt". The PCs are sent on a mission by a group of terrorists. After the mission is over the mercenaries find a copy of the mission orders and realize that the terrorists planned to betray them. The orders include the phrase "All other priorities rescinded" (there was a similar line in the orders given to the android Ash in the film Alien. It told him that acquiring the xenomorph was top priority, and the welfare of the crew of the Nostromo was not).
The early years had a number of brief Shout Outs, from major (Alexsandr Kerensky, named after the leader of the government overthrown by Lenin), to minor (James "The Kirk" Yalos, a mercenary captain, named in honor of Star Trek.)
And before FASA got hit by a barrage of infringement suits, there was Team Banzai and many of the game's Battlemech designs were directly taken from Mechaanime, primarily Macross.
Loren L. Coleman likes to use name puns to make his shout outs. Colonel Nin Ten Doh of the Capellan armed forces, anyone? (Naturally, two licensed MechWarrior games were on the Super Nintendo console.)
An extremely subtle one exists on the Grand Titan. Printed in rather unusual-looking lettering on its upper arm in the official artwork◊, you can make out the words "ROLL OUT." The words are a font that heavily resembles Cybertronian script. This is due in large part to the Grand Titan itself resembling the iconic Autobot leader Optimus Prime.
According to The Book of Unremitting Horror (originally a d20 Supplement, it later inspired the GUMSHOE rpgs The Esoterrorists and Fear Itself and was reprinted in an expanded edition for that system), some people believe the Outer Black is essentially the Cenobite's dimension from Hellraiser and The Hellbound Heart. In this case, they're wrong — it's an incredibly horrible place, such that it can't qualify as an Infernal Paradise like the Cenobite's realm, because no-one is twisted enough to even briefly consider it to live up to its supposed promise of being a sadomasochistic heaven. The specific section of it described in reference to this is a biomechanical hell reminiscent of H.R. Giger's work where demons endlessly fight and kill each other for absolutely no reason — a realm of horrific, meaningless, unending brutality.
Call of Cthulhu supplement Dark Designs, adventure "The Menace from Sumatra". One of the books in Dr. Granger's library is The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a work written by Professor James Moriarty in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.
Carcosa: Weird Science-Fantasy Horror Setting
In hex 0707 there's a building with the bodies of 39 White Men, with no visible wounds. They're wearing black clothing and their faces are covered with a purple silk cloth. Each has 5 silver pieces and a trade token worth 5 gold pieces. In the building there are bowls of porridge laced with arsenic. This is a reference to the Heaven's Gate cult, which committed mass suicide in 1997.
Hex 2001 has a tall black rectangular monolith made of a non-reflective metal. If treated in a reverent manner, those who sleep near it gain one point of intelligence. Hex 2002 has a clan of ape-men that fight with bone clubs and worship the monolith. This is a reference to the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey which raised the intelligence of primitive ape-like creatures and taught them how to use bones as killing weapons (this was explained much better in Arthur C. Clarke's Novelization).
Hex 2307 has a castle owned by a Mad Scientist with a deformed henchman. He conducts bizarre experiments that include molding and melding life and his laboratory is filled with massive electrical machinery (the original Frankenstein (1931) film and its sequels/successors).
Cartoon Action Hour campaigns are fake series that pay homage to Eighties cartoons. The book itself includes shout-outs to many of these shows, especially in the "game seeds" section, which includes ideas for campaigns based on series such as Transformers ("Transbots") and ThunderCats ("Action Cats"). And then there's the full-length game Warriors of the Cosmos, which is basically a love letter to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983).
C.L.O.W.N.. The C.L.O.W.N. base's Danger Room used funny cartoon images as "threats". One of them was a starship firing a cream pie (Fred Saberhagen's Berserker short story "Mr. Jester". At the end of the story a berserker ship fires a giant custard pie at a human ship).
The shoe box size Homing Car Robot Bomb can drive through traffic until it reaches the target car and blows it up (an assassination device that appears in the Tom Selleck film Runaway).
The "Puff" ground to air missile, which deploys Kevlar streamers which snag and foul the propellers of prop-driven aircraft and helicopters (Ecotopia, in which the title country's armed forces used missiles that deployed streamers to tangle up the blades of attacking U.S. helicopters).
Adventure Deathstroke. When the force field surrounding the nuclear weapon is breached a recording starts: "I am a thirty second bomb...29...28..." (Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers novel. While Juan Rico was on a raid against the Skinnies, he entered a room full of them and tossed in a bomb that said the same thing in the Skinny language).
The supplement Champions II has rules for constructing bases. One example mentions a waterfront warehouse that contains vehicles, which is separate from the main base in a prominent New York skyscraper (Doc Savage, who has a penthouse on the 86th floor of a New York skyscraper (presumably the Empire State building) and a warehouse on the Hudson River that holds his ships and planes. The sign on the warehouse says "Hidalgo Trading Company").
Chivalry & Sorcery, 3rd Edition adventure Stormwatch. One possible event that can befall the party: as it is breaking camp, one of the characters finds a snake in his boot (Toy Story. When Woody's string was pulled, one of the possible phrases spoken was "There's a snake in my boot!").
A discussion of the Five Maxims includes the phrase "Wherever you go, there you are" (a phrase used by the title character in the film Buckaroo Banzai).
In the Gamemaster section under Switching Fraternities it says "For example, a spanner who is a disenfranchised Shao-Lin monk with great power in Dreaming and martial arts roams the American southwest in the 1800s looking to right wrongs." (Kwai Chang Caine, the protagonist of the TV show Kung Fu).
A TV Guide page from the year 2013. One of the entries is for a game show called Deal With The Devil, with host Sam Neill. The actor Sam Neill played Damien Thorn, the son of the Devil, in the 1981 movie The Final Conflict.
The leader of an anime poser gang kidnaps a woman, and has a biosculpt job done on her which gives her huge eyes, a tiny mouth, weird hair color and tiny horns on her head, and makes her wear a tiger print bikini - thus making her look like the character Lum/Lamu in Urusei Yatsura. This is Lamp Shaded by a character saying that "It had something to do with some old Pacific Rim export cartoon."
A man buys a computer system that was owned by Fort Meade (AKA the National Security Agency). It has a file on it called "NORAD I" which consists of a huge list of 10 digit numbers. This is a reference to the movie WarGames, where the W.O.P.P.E.R. computer at NORAD ran through a list of 10 digit numbers to find the code that would allow it to launch all of the U.S. land-based ICBMs against the Soviet Union.
Night City supplement (1991).
There are multiple references to the Real Life McDonald's fast food chain. (a) The restaurant Global Foods is owned by Raymond Kroc. McDonald's (which eventually grew worldwide) was founded by Ray Kroc in 1955. (b) The fast food restaurants MacDonovan's and MacDonnell's.
One of Night City's businesses is Universal Export, which is reputed to be a front for the British Provisional Government's Army Intelligence Active Service. This is a reference to the James Bond novels, in which MI-6 used a company called Universal Export as a front.
The owner of a game store runs a Tabletop Game called The Field Trip. The title is taken from the 1970's game The Fantasy Trip, which was written by Steve Jackson and published by Metagaming.
There is a bookstore downtown called Puddleforge's, "where old copies of Cyberpunk V1 can be bought for a song and burned as fuel." This is a reference to "Alice Through the Mirrorshades," a Cross Over adventure with Paranoia which ends with the PCs encountering a hobo named Mike Puddleforge, an obvious Captain Ersatz of Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith, burning old RPG rulebooks for warmth.
Piper Memorial Sports Arena is named after a professional wrestler who died from gunshot wounds while foiling a terrorist plot to hijack a plane and dive it into the White House to assassinate the President (yes, yet another example of a "hijack an airliner and fly it into a building" plot in fiction well before 9-11). Although the text doesn't give his full name, it is "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
NeoTribes (1995). "Chicago: The Adventure" has an NPC named Carrie Laisson. This is a reference to either the phrase "Kyrie eleison or the 1985 song "Kyrie" by Mr. Mister, which includes that phrase.
The New Edison Mega Corp. owns a subsidiary called Martian Metals that gives its name to a large building in San Francisco and mines Mars for metal. In Real Life Martian Metals was a small company that made miniature figurines for use with role playing games during the 1970s and early 1980s.
The Serendipity Mega Corp.'s headquarters is an orbital space station called Crystal Palace. This is a reference to the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, which was code named "Crystal Palace".
The subdermal pouch (a pouch implanted in the body that can hold small objects) is taken from an identical device in Robert A. Heinlein's novel Friday.
A store that implants cybernetic devices is called Lee Press-On Limbs, a reference to the Real Life product Lee Press-On Nails.
Danger International main rules. The description for the Forensic Medicine skill starts off with the line "Welcome to the exciting world of forensic medicine". This was inspired by what the title character says in the opening titles of the Live-Action TV show Quincy. "You are about to enter the most fascinating sphere of police work - the world of forensic medicine."
Dark Dungeon RPG, supplement Samaris, Island of Adventure. In the Back Story the giant city covering the title island was destroyed in a war between the demonic wizard king Acecerax and the demon witch empress Vekna. Acecerax and Vekna are references to characters in 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons: Acecerax from the demilich Acererak in module S1 Tomb of Horrors and Vekna from the lich Vecna of "the Eye and Hand of Vecna" fame.
German RPG Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye) has unbelievably many. Besides the countless that work only in German, there are things like the towns "Camparisodano" and "Wodkalemonis", "Sylla" and "Charypso" (Scylla and Charybdis, two obstacles for Odysseus). The dwarf Gargi, son of Gax wrote the book "Dragons and Demons" (Gary Gygax, Dungeons & Dragons), another book is called "Der ringende Herr" (compare the German title of Lord of the Rings: Der Herr der Ringe), Gandolf von Gareth wrote the books "Ringkunde für Anfänger" und "Ringkunde für Fortgeschrittene" (Rings for Beginners and Rings for Advanced Learners). For more go to this (German) site
Don't Rest Your Head manages to toss in a few. For instance, throwaway lines in both the corebook and supplement Don't Lose Your Mind indicate that Mister Hyde, the Jabberwock, and the original Frankenstein's Monster have all managed to become Nightmares.
In D20 Apocalypse, one advanced class is called... The Road Warrior, giving bonuses and abilities to make you able to do typical Mad Max stunts.
Eclipse Phase owes a great deal to the Takeshi Kovacs series - the term "cortical stack" is lifted directly - and they made sure any fans of the novel knew it by having a character in the opening fiction get annoyed that the body he'd been installed into was a smoker, much like Kovacs.
One strain of nanovirus that was developed by the TITANs is called the Uzumaki. It causes the body of the infectee to erupt with fleshy growths in the shape of spirals...
In Gatecrashing, it's mentioned that one Angelina Germanotta is a member of a certain hedonistic space colony. She might be better known to you by another name ...
Encounter Critical. This is a parody of old style fantasy/science fiction Tabletop Games by S. John Ross.
The Hydrovac Suit from Sleeper, a Tri-Corder (tricorder from Star Trek) and Damnation Van (vehicle from the movie Damnation Alley) are available as items of equipment.
The alien races in the game include Vulkins and Klengons (Vulcans and Klingons from Star Trek), Planetary Apes, intelligent ape men from a world not unlike our own (c.f. Planet of the Apes) and Wookies (Wookiees from Star Wars).
Asteroid 1618 supplement
The planet Gamma had a planetary atomic war several centuries earlier and has mutated animals and robots wandering its surface (Gamma World game).
The starship Warden suffered a disaster and its systems malfunctioned. It wanders space randomly with its degenerate crew (Metamorphosis AlphaTabletop Game).
Deep Space Station K-5. In the Back Story this space station was taken over by the alien Klengons (Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles", in which the Klingons visiting Deep Space Station K7 threatened Federation interests).
The planet Xardox has two societies, one technologically advanced and the other brutal savages (the movie Zardoz which has the same setting).
The planet Cobol is a vast tomb whose population mysteriously disappeared long ago (the planet Kobol in the 1970s Battlestar Galactica (Classic) TV series. In the episode "Lost Planet of the Gods" the fugitive Colonial fleet arrived at the planet Kobol where humanity originated. The ancestors of the original 13 Colonies left Kobol, leaving its cities deserted).
25% of the human population of planet Remulak has a mutation that gives them misshapen heads. (Saturday Night Live "Conehead" sketches in which the title characters came from the planet Remulak).
Three years ago most of the population of the starport of the planet New Remus was killed when the central computer malfunctioned and its robodroids went berserk (the movie Westworld, in which the androids of the title resort went homicidal and slaughtered the guests they were supposed to be entertaining).
The space subsector map that the game uses to list the star systems in a subsector is clearly based on similar sheets from the Classic Traveller.
The planet Aldaria's Multiversity is said to have had a kosho team. Kosho was a fictional game/martial art that first appeared in the original The Prisoner TV show.
The picture on page 19 clearly shows a Eagle Transporter spacecraft from the Series/Space1999 TV show.
The Domed City has a "soylent factory" that produces food. Anyone requesting "soylent green" will be reported to the authorities (the movie Soylent Green, in which "soylent green" was food created from human bodies).
The Lucky Lady Casino hosts fizban games (c.f. the fictional card game "fizzbin" from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "A Piece of the Action").
One room in the Vanishing Pyramid contains the book Hammer of Evil: The Witch Hunter Handbook (c.f the Real Life book Malleus Maleficarum AKA The Hammer of Witches, a text on prosecuting witches written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer).
One possible destination of the Vanishing Pyramid is Dantooine, near the remains of an abandoned base (In the Star Wars film A New Hope Dantooine was the site of an abandoned Rebel Alliance base).
The NPC Uvanna the Hutt is a dangerous alien with the death sentence in thirteen systems. This refers to two different Star Wars film A New Hope characters: Jabba the Hutt and the criminal that is killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Mos Eisley Cantina.
Everway supplement Spherewalker Sourcebook. The Soulseekers have the ability to remember their past lives, with masters of "true recall" able to remember dozens. However, some Soulseekers are not able to handle all of these past personalities. Some go mad or are possessed by one of the stronger personalities. This is a reference to Frank Herbert's Dune novel Children of Dune, in which Alia was almost taken over by the personality of Baron Harkonnen and was possessed (and driven insane) by the memories of her ancestor's lives, and Leto merged with the personality of one of his ancestors.
Exalted is usually fairly subtle with its shout outs, but the discovery of a First Age messaging service known as the Dextrous Midnight Runners (musical group Dexys Midnight Runners) is not subtle at all.
Don't forget the Nameless Solar, who invented a martial art based around the setting's equivalent of guns.
There's a city mentioned in the Underworld book called Graf-Vindak. The Graff Vynda-K was a one-off villain from the Doctor Who serial "The Ribos Operation".
The adventure In Hunting a Monster contains shout outs to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air (read the background of the character Useless Sparrow) and a shout out to one of Exalted's spiritual influences, the Scarred Lands (also by White Wolf).
Hellstriders are pretty clearly inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion, being inhuman creatures fused into mecha that unfold biological components when losing control.
FATAL has references to The Lord of the Rings (the One Ring is actually a magical item, known as the "Ring of the Lords"), Army of Darkness (a mirror that creates tiny copies of you), and Highlander (there's a magical book that makes you immortal unless beheaded.)
The wargame Flintloque is set in a fantasy version of the Napoleonic Wars; the Elves are the French, the Orcs are the British, the Dwarfs are the Germans etc. The greatest Orcish soldier is Captain Rekhardt Sharke (with Sgt Harpy and his Chosen Orcs). A less great one is Captain Arry Flashorc.
The "Freedom City" setting for Mutants & Masterminds superhero RPG. There isn't a single aspect of it that isn't a Shout-Out to Marvel or DC. One example: Not only are the Grue shapeshifting aliens reminiscent of the Skrulls; not only is there a Meta-Grue, equivalent to the Super-Skrull, not only is their Meta-Mind leader a Shout-Out to the Supreme Intelligence of the Skrulls' enemies, the Kree; but their home planet is called Gruen-World, in homage to the late Marvel Comics editor Mark Gruenwald.
You forgot Zork. "You have been eaten by a Grue" indeed.
The GURPSSuper Hero sourcebook International Super Teams has a number of shout outs buried in its text and timeline, including references to The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the Wild Cards novels, John Irving's The World According To Garp and the 1985 film The Legend of Billie Jean. Another suggests that reality altering "timequakes" might be especially common in worlds with superhumans.
GURPSSteam-Tech includes a bit of fluff text about a group of monster hunters: Frederick, 46th Lord Runcorne, and his Fabulous Friends Daffers, Socks, Lunchpail and "faithful four-footed Skara Brae". They're clearly intended as a Victorian Mystery Inc.
GURPS Illuminati was written by Nigel D. Findley, a big fan of Robert A. Heinlein who put many Heinlein Shout Outs in his Shadowrun works. In the section on Connections he mentions a connection between the length of women's skirts and the sunspot cycle and mentions women's hemlines again later, all of which he borrowed from Heinlein's novel Friday.
The Paranormal Investigator archetype Men in Black uses an "Amnesia Ray" to remove the memories of supernatural encounters from the minds of innocent citizens (the Neuralyzer in the Men In Black franchise).
The Wandering Hero archetype is a monk from China who is half British and half Chinese. He wanders the Earth fighting against injustice and helping other people (Kwai Chang Caine in the Kung FuLive-Action TV show).
A Lost World plateau exists in the Amazon rain forest. It says that a British expedition reached it and returned, without any proof of their findings but with a fortune in uncut diamonds (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World).
The spire on top of the Empire State Building is covered with mystical symbols and parts of it are made with a strange orange metal, making it an antenna for mystical energy (Ghostbusters, where Ivo Shandor's building used girders with cores of pure selenium and was a "antenna...designed expressly for pulling in spiritual turbulence.")
Supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth
One alchemical artifact is "Amazon Bracers" which allow the wearer to react to and deflect incoming ranged fire (c.f. Wonder Woman's magical Amazon bracelets, which can deflect bullets).
The Hermit is a mysterious inhabitant of the Northern twilight region (outside the Arctic entrance to the Hollow Earth). He is covered with scars and stitches as though he had been cut apart and sewn back together, has misshapen body parts, watery eyes, yellow skin, black hair and black lips (in short, he's Frankenstein's Monster. At the end of the novel Frankenstein he said he was headed toward the North Pole).
A Bloody Bay captain tells the story of how he was maimed by an male albino leviathan (whale-like creature) that sank his ship (Moby-Dick).
One of the Demon Prince Valefor's invocation modifiers is "My God! The Lost Monet!" A joke by Steve Martin in his Stand-Up Comedy act (as recorded in his book "Cruel Shoes") involved a group of dogs that had stolen a variety of artwork and were being observed by the narrator. The phrase was the punchline of the joke.
James Bond 007 RPG (Victory Games), supplement Thrilling Locations. While at sea the PCs can encounter a man with a limp who is hunting a large white sailfish, a reference to Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick.
Many of the factions in the collectible miniatures game Monsterpocalypse are based heavily on famous sci-fi franchises, sometimes to the point of Expy. G.U.A.R.D. is an homage to Humongous Mecha anime, the Terrasaurs and the Planet Eaters are clearly based on the Godzilla movies, the Shadow Sun Syndicate's monsters are based on Ultraman, the Martian Menace are based on alien invasion films such as the 1953 film version of The War Of The Worlds, and the Lords of Cthul are based on the Cthulhu Mythos.
Mutazoids Game Master Screen and Mini Module. In the mini module "Burning White", there was a mutazoid character named Mr. Eyes who had both of his eyes on stalks. Sometimes he will make both eyes stare at each other and laugh hysterically. If asked what is so funny, he will say he read it in a novel. This is a reference to the Larry Niven novel Ringworld. Pierson's Puppeteers have two eyes on stalks. In the novel a Puppeteer named Nessus would have his two eyes look at each other, and Louis Wu suspected that doing so was the Puppeteer version of laughter.
World of Darkness: Innocents features a Shout Out that's actually downright disturbing. In the combat chapter, the examples consistently use a pair of siblings named Charlie and Lola.
Less disturbingly, one adventure seed revolves around a character who is very, very obviously modeled on the villain of The Night of the Hunter — Word of God is that he was even going to be named Harry Powell until they realized that might cause legal issues.
The Mekhet clanbook for Vampire: The Requiem has the main character seeking out various Mekhet in London for information on the clan's history, one of whom is an occult charlatan who uses New Age mysticism to lure in targets. The first comment on his side of the conversation is, "No, Frances, the M25 is not a demonic sigil."
The Mekhet book is full of shout outs. The main character is named Frances Black (Frances after a friend of the author, and Black for the lead singer of the band The Pixies), and the aforementioned occult charlatan she met with was either going to be named Vincent Moon or Howard Noir (the author went with the first one, in case you're wondering).
In the core book for Hunter: The Vigil, there's a conspiracy called Aegis Kai Doru. The picture accompanying it (to represent a typical member) is almost exactly the same as the cover of Devil May Cry 3 — the only difference is that "Dante" is holding a rifle over his shoulder instead of Rebellion. It's possible that this may have been plagiarism instead of a Shout-Out - the artist for the picture was fired for it.
Half-Life. In the section of Hunter dealing with the Scientist profession in the main rulebook, there's also a statement that "more than one theoretical physicist has taken up a crowbar to beat back a swarm of living dead."
Millennium. There's a department of the FBI that uses psychic flashes to track down serial killers.
Wild Wild West. The US Government's real Men in Black organisation, meanwhile, is Task Force VALKYRIE, which was founded shortly after the American Civil War by a man called Gordon West - which not only looks like a nod to Artermis Gordon and Jim West, but would therefore be tying two Will Smith roles together.
In the revised Nosferatu clanbook of Vampire: The Masquerade there is a section entitled "Interview with a Vampire," set in New Orleans, wherein a Nosferatu confronts an unnamed author of vampire books, asking:
A "wild card" encounter encourages the game master to make up a random encounter, such as with the Flying Dutchman, Judge Crater, E.T. the Extraterrestrial, or Killer Penguins (from SPI's Swords & Sorcery game).
In the abandoned nuclear reactor the PCs will encounter several ranks of Sierra Clubbers named after Yogi Bear characters: Boo-Boos, Yogis and a Mr. Ranger Sir. They can also encounter a Smokey The Bearbot that tries to put out fires while saying "Only you! (...can prevent forest fires.").
In Mission 4 the Troubleshooters will go Outside. They wll meet the Cyberpunk gang leaders Jake and Elwood (from The Blues Brothers), may acquire a little red Corvette (from the Prince song of the same name) and meet the Nouvelle Vague gang, whose catchphrase is "We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune" (a line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail).
1E adventure Send in the Clones.
A Troubleshooter named Zhon-B-VJN is in obsessive pursuit of a group of traitors who stole a loaf of synthebread. He is a reference to two characters in Les Misérables: Jean Valjean, who was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing bread, and Inspector Javert, who dedicated himself to tracking down Valjean.
Zhon-B-VJN has given his gatorbots names such as Albert (costumed alligator mascot Albert of the University of Florida), Wally (Hanna-Barbera character Wally Gator) and Murgatroyd (the Catch Phrase of Snagglepuss, another Hanna-Barbera character, was "Heavens to Murgatroyd!").
While in the sewers the Troubleshooters will encounter the Captain Botaroo studio and the robot kid show host Captain Botaroo himself. Captain Botaroo is a reference to the Captain Kangaroo character.
The Troubleshooters are sent to pick up their experimental gear from the R&D department of QQQ sector - a reference to James Bond's Q Branch.
One place the Troubleshooters will encounter is the NBD Commissary, which has terrible food. During Johnny Carson's long run on NBC's The Tonight Show, one of his standard jokes was to complain about the food in the NBC Commissary.
At some point the Troubleshooters will end up in Studio 54 and participate in the Wide Complex of Sports. Studio 54 is a reference to the one-time famous nightclub of the same name, and Wide Complex of Sports refers to the ABC show Wide World of Sports.
The vidshow "Date With Death" is hosted by Don-Y-OSM (Donny Osmond).
During Teela-O-MLY's death scene she says "Computer of Mercy, is this the end of Teela? I ain't so tough! Top o' the Complex, Computer...top o' the Complex". This is a combination of the dying words of two film characters: Edward G. Robinson's Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello in Little Caesar ("Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?") and Jimmy Cagney's Cody Jarrett in White Heat ("Top o' the world!").
The adventure "Me and My Shadow Mark IV" has: the clone Aunt-MAY (Spiderman), briefing officer Jonnie-B-GUD (Chuck Berry's song "Johnny Be Good"), the clone Robb-Y-RBT (Forbidden Planet's Robby the Robot), scrubot 409-D (the Real Life Formula 409 family of cleaning products) and Episode Nine Part 1's title "The Charge of the Red Brigade" (Lord Tennyson's The Charge Of The Light Brigade).
"Warriors of the Night Cycle" had many Japanese-related clone names (Sam-U-RAI, Bush-I-DOE, Hik-U-VRS, Sure-I-KEN, Da-I-MYO), as well as Thedra-G-ONN (Enter the Dragon), Grass-O-PPR (Kung Fu) and Yojimbots (Yojimbo).
"The Harder They Clone" had Bill-Y-IDL (Billy Idol) who sings "What a nice day for a blood-letting..." (his song "White Wedding") and the section title "Ears for Fears" (Tears For Fears).
The pre-generated characters are named after Hill Street Blues characters: Andrew-B-RNK (Andy Renko), Mick-B-LKR (Mick Belker), Lucy-B-ATZ (Lucy Bates), Bob-B-HIL (Bobby Hill), Jay-B-LRU (J.D. LaRue) and Gold-B-LUM (Henry Goldblume).
The Fed-R-ALL Express Messenger Service can deliver packages quickly.
The sample adventure "First Blood and Then Some" has a character named Ram-B-EAU.
Paranoia XP. Even after Paranoia was "purged of excruciating pop-culture wackiness", there is still Soylent [YOUR CLEARANCE HERE] food being given out.
Paranoia XP supplement Service, Service!, adventure "Nightcycle Shift". The Troubleshooters enter a room filled with bizarre but strangely compelling-looking furniture and decorations. There's a slim, strangely life-like female mannequin wearing a leotard in the room. It's actually a female clone holding completely still. This is a reference to a scene in the movie Blade Runner when Deckard enters a room in J.F. Sebastian's apartment in which Priss is hiding in plain sight waiting to ambush him.
HPD&MC has an advertising campaign to get citizens to move to the Underplex: "A new life awaits you in the under-plex colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure". Replace "under-plex" with "off-world" and you have the advertising slogan being broadcast by the blimp in ''Blade Runner".
Area 31 is a secret research area set up by R&D. The title is a reference to Area 51, which UFO conspiracy theorists believe is a site where UFO's are stored and studied.
Pokethulhu is one long shout-out to both Pokémon and the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The Team Rocket knockoffs are named Derleth and Bloch, after a pair of Cthulhu Mythos writers, and signs on the map include "Yellow" (a reference to The King in Yellow) and "Muskratonic University" (because the artist is John Kovalic, who has a soft spot for muskrats). It goes on like this for quite a while.
Two dueling elves who are ancient, bitter enemies (in the Back Story of the Shadowrun adventure Harlequin, the title character and Ehran the Scribe fight a duel. They are both elves who have opposed each other for thousands of years, since the previous age of magic).
SLA Industries. The Shaktar race are honorable, bipedal humanoid warriors with dreadlocks and bizarre mandible-like lips that throw power discs that cut through things. In other words, they're Predators.
Starblazer Adventures, based on the 1980s British Comic Book. In Chapter 10 "How To Do Things" the Supplemental Actions section mentions "composing a sonnet while fencing", a reference to Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road. In that novel the protagonist Oscar Gordon has to come up with poetry while dueling the Never-Born (who was himself a Shout Out to Cyrano de Bergerac).
One of the new monsters was the Cauldron-Born, a type of zombie that loses Hit Points in proportion to how far away they are from their creator. This was a reference to the Cauldron-Born in Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain stories, who were created by Arawn Deathlord by putting dead bodies into a magical cauldron. The further they traveled away from Arawn, the weaker they got.
The room called The Bakery is filled with references to nursery rhymes. In this room the PCs can find a rancid pastry filled with dead blackbirds ("four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie" from Sing a Song of Sixpence), the rotting remains of curds and whey upon the floor (Little Miss Muffet) and a plum pie with a severed thumb sticking out of it (Little Jack Horner).
The Scroll of Falling Down and Other Depressing Things (The Egyptian Book of the Dead), Shameless Cults (Nameless Cults from Robert E. Howard's Mythos works), The Necronomicomizomicon (The Necronomicon)
The Elderly Gods (Elder Gods) and Pretty Great Old Ones (Great Old Ones) of the Cthulhu Mythos: Catchoolu (Cthulhu), Crisponions (Cthonians from Brian Lumley's Mythos work) and their leader Shady Mel (Shudde M'ell), Deep Clowns (Deep Ones from The Shadow Over Innsmouth) and their leaders Father Dugong and Mother Hydrant (Father Dagon and Mother Hydra), Elder Thugs (Elder Things from At the Mountains of Madness), Flying Porklips (Flying Polyps from The Shadow Out of Time) Hamstur the Unbearable (Hastur the Unspeakable), Nyuknyuknyukaschlep (Nyarlathotep in the form of Curly Howard), Tsaggywahaha (Tsathoggua from Clark Ashton Smith's Mythos work) and the Shiftless Spawn of Tsaggywahaha (Formless Spawn of Tsathoggua), Yuk (Yig from H.P. Lovecraft and Ziella Bishop's The Curse of Yig), Slobboths (Shoggoths from At the Mountains of Madness), Yu-Go, the Fungi From Cleveland (Mi-Go from The Whisperer in Darkness)
Snorin Ironbelly (King Snurre Ironbelly in Dungeons & Dragons module G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King), Dayglo Smuggins and Cheeso Grabbins (Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit), Lost Dungeon of Arne's Son (Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons). The fact the Dungeon of Arne's Son is accessed through a crack in the basement wall of the Packum Inn could be a reference to the Yawning Portal tavern in Waterdeep, which contains a well that leads to the Undermountain.
Races based on Dungeons & Dragons races: Dogs (humans), Squirrels (elves), Badgers (dwarves), Mice (halflings).
Supplement 11 Library Data (N-Z). The science of psychohistory allowed the prediction and manipulation of the future behavior of large populations.
The name of some emperors, such as Cleon.
Megatraveller Journal #3
Article "Worldguide: Vincennes". The TL 16 world Vincennes is dependent on robotics, its people stay home and don't interact with other people most of the time, and they "visit" other peoples' homes via holographic projection. This is based on the society of the planet Solaria in The Naked Sun, one of Isaac Asimov's robot novels.
Adventure "Rapid Repo". The PC team receive their mission equipment at a technical section called "Q Division".
Supplement 2 Animal Encounters. While on a desert planet PCs could encounter drum sand, which echoes footsteps and attracts local predators. This is a direct steal from Frank Herbert's Dune. On the planet Arrakis, walking on drum sand made a loud noise that attracted any Sand Worms in the area.
Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society #4 article "The Bestiary". The Reticulan Parasite is clearly based on the xenomorph in the Alien series. The illustration is identical to the "face-hugger" stage, they're found in large pods (eggs), etc.
Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society #18 article "Small Cargoes and Special Handling". Several of the possible smuggling cargoes.
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. In The Mote in God's Eye, that coffee is reserved for the Imperial Family. Imperial Navy ships carry it to the Imperial palace on the planet Sparta.
Blue Valonaise Wine. If exposed to unusual acceleration or gravity conditions its sediments will get mixed up, making it undrinkable. This is a reference to The Mote in God's Eye, in which the interstellar merchant Horace Hussein Bury had the following line.
I find it annoying and expensive that some of my ships must move under constant acceleration merely to protect a wine bottle from its own sediments. Why can they not simply be centrifuged on arrival?
Game 3 Azhanti High Lightning, scenario "The Great Wine Heist". Emperor Strephon loves Tokaj Eszencia wine from Earth and has reserved it for the Imperial table. This is a reference to The Mote in God's Eye, in which Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is reserved for the Imperial Family on Sparta.
The Traveller Adventure campaign
Chapter "Exotic Encounters", adventure "Charter to Cratersea". The PCs' employer is eccentric, mercurial, volatile, unpredictable and sometimes ruthlessly malicious toward them. He is named Cai Calula (the Roman emperor Caligula, who had similar qualities).
Chapter "First Call at Zila". While the PCs and some Oberlindes Lines crewmen from the starship Margin of Profit are seated together in the Dead Spacer starport bar, a group of enemy Akerut Lines crew try to start a fight. First an Akerut man says that the March Harrier (the PCs' ship) is a "fat sow too slow to win anything but a garbage contract, and so old that it's only the rust that holds it together." If the PCs want to attack them the Oberlindes crewmen will restrain them because they don't want any trouble. Then the Akerut crewman says "But it's a good thing the March Harrier turned up - maybe we can give her the garbage run and have the Margin of Profit hauled off with the rest of the refuse." The Oberlindes crew immediately attacks the Akerut crew.
This is a reference to the bar scene in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles". Crew members from the Enterprise and a Klingon ship are sitting in a starport bar and a Klingon named Korax starts insulting the Enterprise crew. Chekov wants to start a fight but Scotty restrains him. Then:
Korax: We like the Enterprise. We, we really do. That sagging old rust bucket is designed like a garbage scow. Half the quadrant knows it. That's why they're learning to speak Klingonese.
Scotty: Laddie, don't you think you should rephrase that?
Korax: You're right, I should. I didn't mean to say that the Enterprise should be hauling garbage. I meant to say that it should be hauled away as garbage.
Scotty: [Punches him and a fight starts]
Supplement Merchants and Merchandise. The LHeP9(Or) Series 12/136 computer system had two of them. Feature 1138 was a reference to the early George Lucas film THX 1138. Artificial Intelligence Feature 2001 was an artificial personality that could take over the computer. It was inspired by the computer H.A.L. 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Supplement SORAG. Killalc pills, psychotomimetic drugs and Narcolethe are all taken from The Stainless Steel Rat novels by Harry Harrison. Personal firearms are from The Mote in God's Eye (the weapons personalized by Motie miniatures for the Marines). The "molecular acid" used in Hypo Gun AP (Acid Point) rounds is from the Alien movie, where the alien's acid blood was compared to "molecular acid".
The New Era supplement Vampire Ships. The public address announcements of the Virus controlling the destroyer consist of odd statements and the refrain "Work...Work...". This was inspired by the PA announcement inside the Yoyodyne facility in the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, which followed the same format.
USA Alive newspaper insert. The paper has a review of a band called the Short Controlled Bursts, a reference to a line in the film Aliens spoken by Corporal Hicks as the xenomorphs are about to attack the Marines: "Remember, short controlled bursts."