Across many works, you will hear the same quotations over and over. These quotes are so well known that most people will recognize them right away, but not all of them will be aware where the quote originated from. Popular sources include William Shakespeare, historical figures, and classic literature. This will often be because of Small Reference Pools - either the author isn't familiar with less famous quotes, or they are afraid the the audience won't be.
Predictably, they will often be mangled, both deliberately and not.
May overlap with As the Good Book Says... if the memorable quote is from The Bible. When used to title a work, it is a Literary Allusion Title. Not to be confused with Beam Me Up, Scotty!, which is when a quote is popularly attributed to a source but was never actually said, or played for laughs when a stock quote is misidentified In the Original Klingon (many of these are also misidentified with the bible quotes when Shakespeare said it first). See also Stock Phrases, which can't be attributed to a single source but also show up time and again.
If you want to add a quote to this page, please come up with at least three examples of its use. If you're not sure, add it to the discussion page. Once it has enough examples, it can be moved here.
Not to be confused with numbers relating to the prices of company stocks.
This quote is hardly ever used together. Instead, the first and second parts often appear alone.
- Gallows from Death Vigil echoes the 'abyss' part of the quote when he tells Maria to talk to the Abyss (which has Eldritch Abominations in it).
- In the Doctor Who (Titan) comic "The Swords of Kali", the Twelfth Doctor paraphrases the trope-naming quote to warn Rani Jhulka about the dangers of seeking revenge... and then adds "Should never have given that quote away [to Nietzsche]. Could've dined out on it all across the universe."
- One of the comics spanning The Punisher's battle against an overzealous monster hunter opens with the first half of this quote.
- Put on screen before the director's cut of The Abyss; they wanted it on the theatrical cut, but another movie had just used it (the commentary didn't say which).
- Referenced in the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!:
The Grinch: The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there - on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn't allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me - I can't cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing... I'm booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?
- Quoted word-for-word in The Dark Tower.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
- Used repeatedly in the Doctor Who New Adventures, with the increasingly manipulative and distant Seventh Doctor worrying that fighting monsters has indeed led to him becoming a monster.
- In Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019), Bruce Wayne of Earth-99 drops the Nietzsche quote while explaining to Batwoman how he abandoned his code against killing.
- Batwoman (2019). In "Through the Looking Glass", Kate Kane gives the quote to her evil twin sister Alice (citing Bruce Wayne of Earth-99) after Kate violates the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule due to Alice's manipulations.
- The second part of the quote is used at the end of the pilot episode of Criminal Minds, "Extreme Aggressor." Five seasons later, the quote is (deliberately) reused in its entirety at the beginning of the aptly named 100th episode "100."
- Referenced in Doctor Who finale, "The Parting of the Ways".
- Used in the Baldur's Gate series.
- Used in the box art (but not in its entirety) for the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King.
- Something*Positive applies it to the internet: "Battle not with stupid, lest ye become stupid, and when you gaze into the Internet, the Internet gazes also into you."
- In Arthur, King of Time and Space, when Lancelot worries that Elaine isn't taking her religious vocation seriously enough, she replies that "When you gaze into the abbess, the abbess also gazes at you". He doesn't look reassured.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, the second part of the quote was used.
- In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Batman alludes to the second part in response to his Evil Counterpart's "Not So Different" Remark.
Batman: There is a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss... but when it looked back at us... you blinked.
The original aphorism is from Twilight of the Gods (1888). Out of lifes school of war—what doesnt kill me, makes me stronger. In Nietzsche's autobiography Ecce Homo, he refers to select individuals as natures lucky strokes among men, and says of such a person, He divines remedies for injuries; he knows how to turn serious accidents to his own advantage; that which does not kill him makes him stronger.
- Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. Dr. Zarkendorf tries giving the quote during his Motive Rant, only for his Hypercompetent Sidekick Annika-709 to interrupt. "That only applies to a colony of bacteria given an insufficient dose of antibiotics."
- Conan the Barbarian opens with this epigraph.
- The Dark Knight. The Joker twists the phrase when revealing himself to the audience for the first time.
- G. Gordon Liddy paraphrased the line in his autobiography Will.
- A promo for Arrow has Oliver Queen saying to the audience, "That which does not kill me, makes me sharper." It's a pun on his fondness for sticking arrows in people, but also how the title character experienced "five years in hell" that turned him from a playboy billionaire to a vigilante superhero.
- Kelly Clarkson's biggest selling single is "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)".
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn't mean I'm over cause you're gone
- Paraphrased in Stronger by Kanye West.
Daft Punk: Work it, make it, do it, makes us
Harder, better, faster, strongerKanye West: N-now th-that that don't kill me
Can only make me stronger.
- "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war" is used by General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as he's kicking the ass of Enterprise with his cloaked Bird of Prey.
- Kevin Costner delivered this line in The Postman (film version only).
- Lord Humongous of The Road Warrior clearly references this quote, in his sort of pretentious way, as he reproaches the town he's laying to by saying "Look at what you have done! You have made me unleash my dogs of war!"
- Drama teacher Mrs. Henscher uses this in ParaNorman to rally an angry mob. They turn out to be less interested in Shakespeare than she assumed.
Mrs. Henscher: (Beat) Let's tear 'em apart!
- Used as the Epigraph for one chapter in Watership Down. Needless to say, war ensues. And a dog.
- Frederick Forsyth wrote a book about a troop of mercenaries in Africa called The Dogs of War, and the film adaptation used the quote as an epigraph before the Title Sequence.
- Pink Floyd have a song called "The Dogs of War," though it could be a reference to the Forsyth example.
- Disturbed, Indestructible. The band's singer has been known to open concerts with the phrase as well.
- American McGee's Alice: Cheshire says, "Time to raise some havoc. The dogs of war are loose!" when Alice finds her first ragebox.
- Dragonfable has "Cry havoc and let loose the togs of war (I'm sure you'll find some use for them)" on a letter the hero receives along with a bunch of creatures called togs.
- In later versions of Worms, a worm team using the Thespians sound pack will sometimes say this at the start of a round.
- The Matrix: Path of Neo has a variant, first half paraphrased, "I have many creatures of war, boy. Release the hounds !"
- Cry 'Havoc' has it in the title, then uses parts of it once or twice in the dialog.
- The Spoony One uses this quote to mock the heroes' plan to defeat Sin. "If I was assembling a team to go kill God, this is not the force that would make me cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war."
- Darian Ashoka, the male lead in Joseph Michael Linsner's Dawn: Lucifer's Halo, at one point misquoted Hamlet's speech, jokingly saying, "The paramour of animals," not "the paragon of animals".
- The speech is quoted during the Other World theater performance in Coraline.
- Mr. Newberry starts the quote in Grosse Pointe Blank, but loses his train of thought halfway through and opts to go get a beer instead.
- Appears at the end of Withnail and I. In fact, Withnail recites the entire soliloquy. Turns out he's a pretty good actor.
- Rincewind reads the speech in The Science of Discworld II: The Globe, and is amazed it was written by someone in a city that still put its enemies heads on spikes. The title of the chapter is "The Paragon of Animals".
- Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Picard gives the full quote as part of his Patrick Stewart Speech in "Hide and Q".
- The fifth book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series is called Mortal Coil.
- There's a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel called Mortal Coils.
- The phrase is used verbatim in the dead parrot sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Stargate Atlantis has a three-parter episode titled "This Mortal Coil", "Be All My Sins Remember'd" and "Spoils of War" in the fourth season. The first two are Hamlet quotes from the same scene, same act.
- Star Trek: Voyager. The episode "Mortal Coil" involves Neelix suffering angst after being brought back from the dead.
- Duran Duran used the phrase in their hit, "Breath After Breath".
- "This Mortal Coil" is a series of albums from the British indie label Four AD.
- There's a band called This Mortal Coil.
- Used in an All-Star Squadron story, quoting Oppenheimer as below; see Person of Mass Destruction for details.
- One of its most famous appearances (the first half anyway) is on Animal Mother's helmet in Full Metal Jacket.
- The Hunt for Red October. Red Oktober's political officer reads this quote from a book owned by Captain Ramius — it's used to imply that the latter might have gone insane and intends to start World War III. Oppenheimer is specifically mentioned as giving the quote.
- The original source is mentioned, as well as Oppenheimer's use of the quote.
- J Robert Oppenheimer's original speech with this line is used to a downright haunting effect in the original teaser trailer for Godzilla (2014). Notably, the part of the quote about how Vishnu "takes on his multi-armed form" is said right as the camera pans over the Multi-Armed and Dangerous Muto monster, while the pivotal "destroyer of worlds" part is said right before the first glimpse of the King of the Monsters himself.
- Sofia Rikkin whispers the sentence before her father's speech in Assassin's Creed (2016).
- Andromeda. Dylan Hunt uses this quote when he kills 100.000 Nietzscheans.
- Fringe. Walternate uses it after comparing what he is trying to do by using the machine to destroy our universe to what Oppenheimer did (see Real Life example below).
- Heroes uses "I am Become Death" as an episode title.
- Parodied in Mystery Science Theater 3000 with Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds.
- Doctor Who. In The Timeless Children", the Doctor is poised to detonate a Doomsday Device to stop the Master from unleashing his Cybermen army on the universe, and the Master taunts the Doctor to "become Death".
- A mad necromancer in Baldur's Gate uses a number of quotes, including "I am death incarnate! Destroyer of worlds!" He also quotes Hannibal Lecter.
- God of War II has an Easter Egg/experience bonus about a third of the way through the game, in the area with the ginormous horses chained to the island. By activating a few particular spots where nothing actually seems to happen, the last one by a tree on an island gives Kratos a huge experience boost—while the camera turns skyward to observe "Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds" writing itself in the clouds.
- And and in an arguably more epic case, in the end of Ghost of Sparta, Kratos stands alone in the Suicidal Cliffs from the first game, having finally killed Thanatos, but lost his brother and his mother, pretty much severing any ties to humanity he had. As he looks down the cliff he tried jumping from the first game, he wonders horrified "By the Gods, What have I become?" once again. The Grave Digger from the first game, who is actually Zeus in disguise, stops digging his brother's grave and answers "Death. The Destroyer of Worlds. Which in a meta sense seems to be literally true, given everything Kratos does following it all.
- In Mortal Kombat 11, the Arcade Mode ending for Noob Saibot has him use this quote verbatim as he reimagines himself as "Death" with help from the Sands of Time, which he took after defeating Kronika.
- Reportedly said by J. Robert Oppenheimer after witnessing the first nuclear bomb test.
- In fact many uses of this quote are actually quoting Oppenheimer quoting Gita. The meaning is frequently taken to be "I have the power!"... but that's not what Oppenheimer meant at all. The Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between the god Krishna and the prince Arjuna, as Arjuna is about to go into battle against his cousins, his guru, the people who raised him, to secure the kingdom. Arjuna questions the rightness of such violence, and in response, Krishna transforms into his terrible, multi-armed aspect, telling him that doing his moral duty is more important than anything else. Oppenheimer felt that he had done a terrible thing, that "the world would not be the same", but he thought of it as his duty.
- The quote appears multiple times, literally or alluded in Mage: The Ascension, both in the Oppenheimer acception (related to atomic bombs or experiments of similar disruptive power, like in the supplement The Fallen Tower: Las Vegas) and in the original Gita meaning (in Tradition book: Euthanatos Revised and in the metaplot-heavy Ascension campaign, in particular)
- Promethean: The Created makes ample use of this line as quoted by Oppenheimer, chiefly as regards the Zeky the section on "the Nuclear Promethean" in the corebook opens with Oppenheimer's quote including the quote from the Gita, and their chapter in Saturnine Night is entitled, "Destroyer of Worlds." It'squite appropriate.
- At least one issue of a Batman mini-series is subtitled The Widening Gyre.
- Batman also has a miniseries with the same title, written by Kevin Smith.
- The poem is quoted in both X-Factor 70 and The Incredible Hulk 425, both written by Peter David.
- Keith Giffen's last arc on Justice League Europe, the individual issue titles were taken from Yeats' "Second Coming", at least the first stanza: "Turning and Turning", "The Widening Gyre", "Things Fall Apart", et cetera.
- In Neon Exodus Evangelion, the two chapters "Ceremony of Innocence" and "The Blood-Dimmed Tide". The entire poem is also quoted in its entirety as the trailer for Chapter 2-8, Dies Irae.
- Cthulhu (2007). The sheriff quotes this to the protagonist (accused of raping and murdering a child) claiming to be the rough beast himself. As it turns out, there are far worse beasts out there.
- The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) (1996)
- Stephen King's The Stand
- Loki quotes extensively from the poem in American Gods, in the scene at the geographical center of the United States.
- Good Omens has Adam the Anti-Anti-Christ "slouching hopefully towards Tadfield" at the end of the book.
- The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a reference to this poem.
- Astrid ominously remembers this quote in Michael Grant's Hunger, after the adult-less city of teenagers and children is devolving into a Lord of the Flies-esque situation.
- Used heavily in the book Armageddon Rag by George R. R. Martin, about a '60s rock band making a comeback in the '80s. The poetry of Yeats is heavily used in some of their song lyrics.
- Used heavily (possibly even more than the titular poem) in The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons.
- At the end of Storm Front, Harry Dresden comments on how the world is getting stranger and he sees it as his job to maintain some control in his corner of the world:
"Things are spinning around faster and faster, and threatening to go completely awry. Falcons and falconers. The center cannot hold."
- The middle book of Harry Turtledove's American Empire trilogy (the second trilogy of his Timeline-191) chronicles the ominous ascent of the Freedom Party. It's called The Center Cannot Hold.
- Joan Didion published a collection of essays in 1968 under the title Slouching Towards Bethlehem. It's mainly about her experiences in California during the 1960s.
- The dieselpunk comedy Rolling Steel: A Pre-Apocalyptic Love Story opens with the sentence: Rough Beast slouched toward the Bethlehem steel mill.
- The Angel episode "Slouching Towards Bethlehem".
- Babylon 5 (by G'Kar about the coming of the Shadows)
- Battlestar Galactica ("The Plan"). The nonsense babbled by a Hybrid as they're about to nuke the 12 Colonies includes the line, "The centre holds; the falcon hears the falconer." (the actual Yeats line is "the centre cannot hold" and "the falcon cannot hear the falconer"). Presumably a statement that, for the Cylons at least, their plan is coming together, as opposed to things falling apart (which happens later on).
- Heroes. Mohinder recites this at the end of the episode titled, appropriately, The Second Coming. Bonus points for doing the whole poem, and not skipping the first two lines (as people are wont to do).
- The first episode of Millennium (1996).
- Referenced in Bright Eyes' 'Four Winds'
- Benjamin Britten's operatic adaptation of The Turn of the Screw gives the two ghosts the line, "The ceremony of innocence is drowned."
- The inspiration of the title of the Interactive Fiction work Slouching Towards Bedlam. The full quote appears in at least one of the endings.
- In Wing Commander IV, Admiral Tolwyn quotes from the first verse, in a discussion about how the post-war Terran Confederation seems to be falling apart without an enemy for humanity to focus on.
- Stephen Reyes of Shadow Unit quotes the line "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold," and the other characters fill in the next few lines for him.
- In Watchmen, there is a band named 'Pale Horse' who are implied to be named for this quote. To drive the point home further, the mass deaths of the story's climax occur at a Pale Horse concert.
- Used in the film Dawn of the Dead (1978)
- In the Clint Eastwood film Pale Rider, it is quoted near the beginning of the film, as Eastwood's character is shown riding into the camp. The title itself is likely a reference, though not a quote.
- Used several times in Tombstone, either all or part. It's even incorporated into Wyatt Earp's declaration of revenge.
- Piers Anthony's novel On a Pale Horse is named after the quote from Revelation; Death is the protagonist, and does indeed have a pale horse.
- Appears in Stephen King's The Stand.
- Agatha Christie's novel The Pale Horse.'
- Death in the Discworld novels does indeed have a pale horse. The fact that the horse's name is "Binky" is a clue that this is not exactly the standard model Death.
- Appears (though not as an epigraph) in "The Big Game," the Super Bowl episode of Criminal Minds.
- The title of the episode "The Fourth Horseman" in Stargate SG-1.
- Referenced in the Supernatural episode "Death Takes A Holiday", where the demon Alistair tells Sam and Dean he got the magical sickle from "a friend" who "doesn't actually ride a pale horse, but he does have three amigos..." When Death does make his introduction, he's driving a pale-coloured car.
- In the episode "Lord John Marbury" of The West Wing, Bartlet is trying to remember this quote as he feels it pertains to the India-Pakistan crisis. Lord John comes out with it at the end of the episode all on his own, simultaneously tying up the loose end that was left dangling for him and signifying his character's worthiness to be adopted into POTUS's crack team of allusion ninjas.
- Used in the Johnny Cash song "When the Man Comes Around."
- The soundtracks for Halo and Halo 3 have songs titled "On a Pale Horse" and "Behold a Pale Horse" respectively.
- A level in The Ultimate Doom is named "And Hell Followed".
- Resident Evil: Revelations features a long-barreled Colt Python called the "Pale Rider." It also appears in the sequel.
- As mentioned above, Halo features this reference several times throughout the series. When the Master Chief's mission shifts from finding the Index so Guilty Spark can fire Halo to stopping him from doing just that in "Two Betrayals," the song On a Pale Horse plays.
- The final chapter of Gears of War is called "Pale Horse".
- Bagheera in Disney's The Jungle Book (1967) quotes this (or a version of it) regarding Baloo's assumed Heroic Sacrifice after the battle with Shere Khan. (This scene is not in the book.)
- Played with in Cryptonomicon. Father Enoch Root tells Randy Waterhouse, "Greater love hath no man than this: To give up his last square of bumwad."
- Paraphrased in the last two lines of Wilfred Owen's "At a Calvary near the Ancre":
But they who love the greater love
Lay down their life; they do not hate.
- In Babylon 5 season two episode "Comes the Inquisitor" the titular Inquisitor quotes this as part of his criteria in judging if someone is truly the chosen one.
- A version of this quote is used in the lyrics of the Thrice song "For Miles":
And there's no greater love
Than that one shed his blood for his friends.
- Kris Kristofferson references this quote in the introduction for the Big & Rich song "8th of November", about a veteran of The Vietnam War remembering his fallen comrades.
- Quoted by Spock in both Star Trek VI and XI (and attributed by him, in the former, to "an ancestor of mine"!)
- Discussed in The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.
- Referenced in "Feet of Clay"
"It wasn't by eliminating the impossible that you got at the truth, however improbable..."
- Doctor Who: The kid from the Silurian two-parter of the 2010 season.
- Data referenced this line in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Lonely Among Us". Somewhat lampshaded in that Data had just absorbed all of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels and was essentially channeling the famed detective.
- Said by Godot in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations.
- Used by Jimmy Neutron, complete with official Holmes attire, during a search for Sheen's missing Ultra Lord action figure
- Cloak and Dagger (1983) has Cloak telling some drug dealer: "All of eternity is contained within my cloak of darkness! Abandon all hope if you chance to enter it!"
- Spoofed in an issue of The Simpsons comic book where Homer is sent to prison: "Abandon shivs all ye who enter here!"
- A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic involving the turtles fighting skeletal pirates.
- In The Sandman issue, "Hope in Hell", Morpheus goes to hell to reclaim one of his artifacts of power. When he ends up in a shapeshifting/reality-warping contest of wits with the demon who has his property, he tricks the demon into becoming a universe-ending force and beats him by becoming "Hope" (the only thing that can remain after such a force). The assembled devils and demons agree that Morpheus has won the duel and even allow him safe passage out after he threatens to remove the only hope remaining to those in hell (specifically the ability to dream of heaven).
- The Boondock Saints: Printed on the wall over the entrance to a strip club after the Saints and Rocco go to kill Vincenzo Lapazzi, one of "Papa Joe" Yakavetta's underbosses.
- In Reefer Madness: The Musical, there is the chant "Open the gate and abandon hope! We're the ghosts of the kids that got hooked on dope"
- The film adaptation of Jarhead has this printed, humorously, on the human waste disposal bin that Private Swofford has to burn and stir.
- Said word by word by Buck in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, when the herd doesn't listen to his warnings and continues to enter the dinosaur world.
- This quote in full is the opening line to the novel American Psycho.
- Used in Piers Anthony's Bio Of A Space Tyrant, where a character named Hope uses "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here" as a message to himself.
- In Howliday Inn, Howard spots a sign outside pet hotel Chateau Bow-Wow, and Chester sarcastically asks if it says "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
- David Rossi of Criminal Minds quotes this in the original Italian in one of his first episodes. (Not as an epigraph. In conversation.)
- Referenced with Chiggy Von Richtoffen's Nose Art: "Abandon All Hope", and in turn referenced by a Badass Boast by Commodore Ross when the humans set out to find him and kill him:
Abandon all hope, my ass!
- Spoofed in the XXXenophile short "Demonstration of Affection". The main character uses magic to enter hell. A background sign reads "Abandon all dope, ye who enter. A drug-free hell is a happy hell".
- Quoth NTom64 at the beginning of the Hellfire Commentaries playthrough of Sonic 06: "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here, for this is the Sonic 06 playthrough." Co-commentator Fastest Thing Alive promptly follows it up with "You poor, poor, poor, poor bastards."
- The quote is used several times in Resident Evil: Revelations.
- Some versions of the text adventure game AberMUD have this as a puzzle, of all things. On the way to Hell, you'll find the Hope Diamond, which is quite valuable. But the only way out again is through a certain gate...
- In Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, one of the translated graffiti scribbed across the walls of the city of Balduq is similar to the first part of the quote, "Abandon all hopes and dreams", but the second part goes "ye who know what's good for you".
- Written in Latin on a sign outside Phaeton City in Exo Squad. During the final battle to liberate Earth from Phaeton's forces, one of Marsh's men takes a moment to destroy all the words except for 'Hope'.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Warning sign by entry to dangerous Serpent's Pass says "Abandon hope".
- In I Am Legion, Legion is a child who is able to control the minds of men.
- In Spawn, the hero Spawn absorbs the souls of thousands of murdered people, who thereby become Spawns themselves, and he utters the phrase, "I am Legion, for we are many."
- In New Mutants, Professor Xavier's son Daniel, a mutant with several distinct personalities, each one controlling a separate mutant power, calls himself Legion in reference to this quote.
- In Ghost Rider, when Blackheart reads the contract of San Venganza, he absorbs all 1,000 of the damned souls who signed their names to the contract. After the process is complete, he proclaims, "My Name... Is Legion, For We Are... Many."
- In Gamera 2 Adventof Legion, the title monster's name comes from this very quote, as a JGSDF watches Soldier Legion swarm Gamera.
- Referenced in Thief of Time with the line "We are Myria LeJean."
- Stephen King's:
- Quoted in It, when a character says she heard this quote from her sink during the 1957 incident.
- In fact, many of Stephen King's baddies ends up quoting that or just simply call themself Legion. Examples include Randall Flagg, Leland Gaunt, Pennywise the Clown, Andre Linoge and many more. When The Dark Tower started to bind all the universes together many speculated that all these creature were in fact different aspects of one being. They were sadly Jossed.
- Quoted in The Exorcist.
- And is the title for the next novel by the same author.
- Alluded to in John Dies at the End when the character Dave is confronted by a human, Justin, whose body is being controlled by a swarm of tiny, supernatural parasites. When Justin rejects his old name and Dave asks what he should call him instead, his reply is "Just call me 'Shitload.' Because there's a shitload of us in here."
- In The Taking by Dean Koontz, an extra-terrestrial being utters the lines "Yimaman see noygel, see refacull, see nod a bah, see naytoss, retee fo sellos. "My name is Legion, is Lucifer, is Abbadon, is Satan, eater of souls.
- My Name Is Legion by Roger Zelazny, in which the protagonist is a secret agent with an inexhaustible supply of false identities.
- Declare by Tim Powers. The dijinn at Ash Shaq says "My name is legion. Worship us."
- In the series finale of Angel, Marcus Hamilton uses the quote, "We Are Legion. We are Forever." to describe himself.
- In Millennium (1996) in the episode "The Judge", a serial killer employs delinquents and ex-convicts to brutally murder, and carry out his "justice". When arrested and interviewed by former FBI Agent Frank Black, he follows Frank's question of "What should I call you?" with "My name is Legion".
- Legion appears in Red Dwarf in the episode "Legion". He is a being composed of many separate minds like the biblical text and also uses the biblical quote "My Name is Legion, for we are many".
- "I am Legion, for we are many" is also quoted by one of the demons of the Seven Deadly Sins in Supernatural.
- In the series Witchblade a suspect named Edward Noland yells in the alley, "My name is Legion, for we are many."
- The Greek band Rotting Christ has a song on its album "Genesis" entitled "Under The Name of Legion."
- Marduk wrote a song entitled "Legion" using the line "My name is legion, for we are many in here."
- The quote 'My name is Legion' and two lines later 'We are many' is used in the song 'Ghost in the Firewall' by Progressive Rock band Arena.
- "My Name is Legion" is a song by Electric Hellfire Club from the album "Witness The Millennium". There is a line stating, "My name is Legion: for I'm many".
- Arch-Enemy made a song called "Nemesis" with the line "We are legion, Voice of anarchy This is revolution Creating new disorder"
- In a Black Sabbath song called "I" appears a line, "I am Legion, strength in numbers a lie, the number is one"
- The Demons & Wizards song "Crimson King" contains the line, "I am Legion."
- Breakage released a song entitled 'The 9th Hand' which contained the sample, "My name is Legion, for we are many."
- HammerFall has a song titled legion, in which Joacim Can sings; "My name is Legion, for we are many spirits inside of one."
- All That Remains has an album entitled For We Are Many.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the race of undead alien robots called Necrons have a quote in their Codex source book: "Their number is legion, their name is death". The warriors of Thousand Sons legion of Chaos Space Marines, essentially possessed suits of armour, have a special rule called "we are legion", indicating their lack of individuality. Chaos Daemons have a daemonic gift called "we are legion", which represents the daemon having multiple souls trapped inside its body, and allows it to fire at multiple targets.
- In Manhunt 2, a gang named The Legion, sometimes say "Our Name is Legion, for we are many", this can also be heard in the beginning of one of the trailers for the game.
- In TimeSplitters Future Perfect the Prometheus model robots, from the robot wars level, say the phrase "We are legion."
- In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Kain states: "But each of us is so much more than we once were. Do you not feel with all your soul how we have become like gods? And as such, are we not indivisible? As long as a single one of us stands, we are legion..." It is requoted in the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 introduction movie.
- In the Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars Expansion Pack, Kane's Wrath, the player plays the role of an AI called LEGION who, in the third act of game is ordered to command army of cyborgs. Kane states (a double entendre): "You are LEGION"
- The Legion is the name of the alien race and main antagonists of the video game Epoch Star. Whenever the player engages Legion forces, they will say, "We are the Legion, for we are many."
- In Dawn of War, when the player chooses to use the Chaos Space Marines, selecting a Chaos Marine squad may result in the response "We are legion" as the squad's aknowledgement of the player's selection - this is a double reference as following the Horus Heresy loyalist Space Marines were divided into Chapters, whereas Chaos Space Marines have retained their original designations of "Legions".
- In Animal Crossing: City Folk, while playing hide and seek with townsfolk, after finding one, they might say "We are legion, for we are many." Given the otherwise idyllic nature of the games, this is a little disturbing.
- In Mass Effect, the Character Sovereign (the vanguard of a race of sentient machines bent on wiping out all organic life) declares "We are Legion."
- In Mass Effect 2 this is also how the geth squadmate Legion receives its Appropriated Appellation - upon being asked its name, it replies simply "geth," and futher explains that it is a robotic platform containing slightly more than eleven hundred individual geth. This prompts the ship's AI to pipe up with the quotation, and the construct immediately recognizes and acknowledges Mark 5:9 as an appropriate metaphor for its state of existence.
- In BioShock 2: Father Wales, when locking one of the doors in Siren Alley, shouts 'We are Legion' before summoning a horde of splicers.
- In "Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem": there's a character NAMED Legion who speaks in the plural state!
- Anonymous intentionally mutated this to become their heralding phrase: "We are Anonymous. We are Legion."
- The title of the episode "Legion" from Gargoyles is an allusion to the Biblical quotation. The episode features a cyborg (Coldstone) possessed by multiple spirits of dead Gargoyles.
- The third season premiere of Justice League Unlimited is titled "I Am Legion". The episode sees the first appearance of the multi-villain team, the Legion of Doom. Also, during the episode, Lex Luthor appears to be sharing his body with Brainiac effectively making him possessed.
- In the Doctor Who/Sherlock Holmes crossover All-Consuming Fire, Watson uses the line sarcastically, to describe a future "that has such people" as Bernice Summerfield.
- In the movie Time After Time, time-travelling H. G. Wells says "O brave new world that hath such people in it" as he observed 1980s Los Angeles.
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. When one of his minions is foolish enough to defy him, the Joker says sardonically, "Ah brave new world... that has such putzes in it."
- In The Intern, the protagonist, Ben, talks with Fiona, his love interest, for the first time. He describes the start-up company where he works as such: "Its a brave new world. Thought Id jump in, see what its all about."
All's right with the world!"
- Neon Genesis Evangelion uses this quote as the motto of NERV.
- Brave New World alters this quote in accordance with the new religion:
"Ford's in his flivver," murmured the D.H.C. "All's well with the world."
- Jeeves quoted the entire verse once after Bertie gave it his usual mangling.
- The quote serves as Arc Words in Holly Jackson's "Strange Magic" fancomics.
- The quote serves as a refrain in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness—
Oh, wilderness were Paradise enow.
- An American chain of convenience stores is called Loaf 'N Jug, very possibly in reference to this.
- In The Monkees episode "The Wild Monkees," when Peter quotes a slightly mangled version of this to Jan, she calls it "the most beautiful poetry I've ever heard."
- ANZAC Girls uses this quote as a Love Confession from one character to another. Not coincidentally, said characters met when one of them was looking for an English translation of the Rubaiyat.
- In Ah! Wilderness by Eugene O'Neill, the Rubaiyat is Richard's favorite poetry, and he quotes the first three lines, stopping before what would be the Title Drop.
- The 1924 musical Sitting Pretty by Bolton, Wodehouse and Kern uses this quote as a cue for the song "You Alone Would Do." (The refrain of the title song originally began: "A jug of wine / Beneath the bough is fine / For those inclined that way.")
- The 1945 musical The Day After Spring by Lerner and Loewe had the song "A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, and Thou, Baby."
The beginning of the most famous monologue in the English language. Popular with those feeling existential as well as aspiring thespians.
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country:
General Chang: "To be or not to be?" That is the question which preoccupies our people, Captain Kirk. We need breathing room.
- The verse of the DeSylva, Brown and Henderson Bad Girl Song "I Want To Be Bad" begins:
To be or not to be, that is not the question.
I decided long ago to be.
It originally comes from the Latin "Cogito, ergo sum" and is sometimes simply called the cogito.
- "I think, therefore iMac" was one of Apple's advertising slogans for the original iMac.
- Bizarrely used in Charlotte, where Yuu cites this quote in the Opening Monologue as he wonders why he's him and not someone else.
Yuu: [thinking] Long ago, a philosopher once said, "I think, therefore I am."
- Ergo Proxy's entire premise is based on this dictum, and the Ergo in the title is taken from the ergo (meaning therefore) in the Latin quote. Since the anime examines what it means to be human, this serves as one of its Arc Words.
- Priscilla, one of the Replicants, echos this statement in Blade Runner when she tells Sebastian, "I think, Sebastian, therefore I am."
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy describes the supercomputer Deep Thought as so startlingly advanced in artificial intelligence that "even before its data banks had been connected up it had started from I think therefore I am and got as far as deducing the existence of rice pudding and income tax returns before anyone managed to turn it off."
Live Action TV
- Star Trek: The Next Generation. Having gained sentience and somehow the ability to exit the holodeck, the Professor Moriarty holoprogram gives this quote to explain it.