- Monokuma introduces himself with Light Yagami's most iconic line:Monokuma: I am the god of this new world...and the headmaster of the Ultimate Academy! The one, the only...Monokuma!
- Most of the Monokuma Theater stills come from famous scenes from Western movies, such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Jaws, The Godfather, Titanic, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, A Clockwork Orange, and more, with Monokuma or Monodam in Chapter 3 playing the roles.
- One of the Monokuma Theaters, specifically the one referencing Back to the Future, directly quotes another famous movie.
- The "rock-paper-scissors cards" item's description is a reference to the Kaiji manga and anime, in which the protagonist bets his life to a rock paper scissors card game.
- The "Commemorative Medal Set" item is a reference to the Pokémon games, in which the protagonist wins battles in gyms and earns badges along the way.
- The "Spla-Teen Vogue" item is a reference to Splatoon. The description even states that "this magazine is meant for kids, not squids."
- The "Teddy Bear" item's description says "if you love it enough, then it might come to life one day", references works like the story "The Velveteen Rabbit" or the movie Ted.
- The description of the Hand-Made Sweater says it's been "knitted with love in every stitch".
- Ryoma is a walking shout-out to Echizen Ryoma, right down to his catchphrase, "You still have a ways to go".
- Kaito's former high school is Dodonpachi Commercial High, and its symbol seen on his lapel pin is a bee, as DoDonPachi literally means "Angry Leader Bee". Kirumi went to Amanogawa (Mily Way) High School, while Maki went to Brave Heart Hall High School
- One of Kokichi's creepier sprites (the one with the inverted colours◊) looks a lot like Dimentio, bonus points as both Kokichi and Dimentio are The Jester and The Chessmaster of their respective games.
- When the game introduces Mass Panic Debates...Oh no! All three people are talking at once! Everyone is clamoring to prove their innocence! There's a panic! In the courtroom!
- Monokumas introduction comes with a large helping of Donald Trump jokes.
- Also during Monokuma's first appearance, he dresses up as Brocken Jr. while slapping the Monokubs, saying that there are no memorable second-generation success stories.
- Monokids Design intentionally invokes several members of the rock band Kiss.
- The demo in itself is a Mythology Gag for many things that happen in the first game and its demo:
- Kaede waking up in the classroom at the beginning, much like Makoto at the beginning of his game.
- Yasuhiro ends up as the victim, murdered in the protagonists' bathroom, with a kitchen knife, much like he was in the first game's demo. He gets better, though.
- The demo even has two rooms to explore that aren't even in the full game as a part of the investigation; the dorm room's bathroom and the kitchen attached to the dining hall.
- At the end of the investigation, the students proceed through a red door much like the one at the entrance of the trial grounds in the first game.
- Kaede recites Makoto's internal pre-trial monologue before the trial begins.
- The first non-stop debate is almost exactly the same as the first non-stop debate from the first game's first trial, and also has the same solution.
- And to top it all off, examining Monokuma's letter at the start of the demo lampshades all of this by saying, "Deja vu! I've just been in this place before".
- Late in the trial, when Monosuke talks about how a literal non-stop debate would be boring, Monokid responds with "Hell yeah! We'd have to rip and tear into your huge guts just to make it entertaining!".
- Tenko suggests to Himiko that she should use "Lumos" to light up the underground tunnel.
- At one point, Tsumugi asks if the wall surrounding them is meant to keep them safe from the titans.
- After apparently coming Back from the Dead, Monokuma transforms into an Expy of Jibanyan. Lampshaded by Tsumugi who outright calls it a poor cosplay and Korekiyo who quickly points out Monokuma seems to have ghosts and Yokai confused.
- Monokuma and the Monokubs mention several tropes from This Very Wiki such as Death Is Cheap. They hate said trope, however.
- Monokid tells Monodam to fetch him some honey, and follows up the request with "Pour some honey on meeeeeee! In the name of killing...!"
- After Rantarou's body is found, Monokid says "Nothing beats crashing a funeral! It's way better than wedding crashing!"
- Tsumugi mentions◊ the Prone and the Ganglion. Immedately after, she mentions a drome leading a pack of monsters.
- During the trial, Monokid says he's "jonesing for a leaf" since he needs a raccoon tail to chase his dragon.
- During the trial, Monophanie says, "he was like a leaf on the wind", referencing an infamous scene for fans of the movie Serenity that's related to it. To make it worse, the cubs specifically refer to the scene and make fun of it afterwards.
- When Miu Iruma suggests that Rantarou's corpse moved on its own, the white noise covering her speech is Litany Against Fear from Dune.
- One of the four items used to unlock new areas in the school at the start of this chapter is a hexagonal crank from some zombie game. Another is an ocarina which has to be used with a stone which has a pentagram on it.
- Early on in the chapter, Monosuke claims that Monodam attacked the Monokubs' "secret weak point". Monophanie thinks that said weak point is the nape of their necks, much like the titans from Attack on Titan.
- When Keebo explains how he sinks in water, Tenko asks if he fell off a boat, would he be "stuck living under the sea, beneath a rock or in a pineapple!?"
- Before the Insect Meet and Greet, when Himiko and Angie enter, Tenko says her saliva can make injuries heal faster.
- When Kokichi gets all the Kubs Pads, he says Gotta Catch 'em All.
- After Ryoma's body is found during Himiko's magic show, Tsumugi references the second case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice, theorizing that Ryoma was a former apprentice of Himiko's master and vowed revenge on him, and he murdered a lookalike of himself in order to sabotage her show. note
- At one point when Kokichi states that he is stating something to himself, Tsumugi (who else?) shuts him down with "When you talk to yourself, pretend you're eating and chew with your mouth closed. Otherwise you'll get a mouthful of peanut butter squid. It's so disgusting you'll laugh!".
- When Ryoma's video is shown following the trial, Monokuma references Mei from Overwatch saying "Sorry, sorry, sorry" in the same tone as she would say. Furthermore, in the English version of Kirumi's motive video, the Prime Minister requests that she "make this country great again". For extra kicks, Monokuma seems to bust out a great impression of The Donald, himself.
- When opening up all of the areas, Tsumugi says that Gonta should wear a tuxedo and a mask.
- Before seeing the motive, Kokichi asks Gonta if the Collosal Insect is on the other side of the wall.
- The motive given in this chapter, The Necronomicon, was originally created by H. P. Lovecraft, and it looks like Grimoire Noir from Nier.
- During the third class trial Miu references South Park by saying Shuichi should 'At least let me look pretty before you decide to fuck me'.
- Korekiyo's execution is based on the execution of Goemon who was a famous samurai in some legends because he stole gold for the poor, as he was boiled to death after he was caught; this fits Korekiyo's Ultimate talent as this type of folklore is the sort of thing he studies.
- Around the first part of the chapter, Monotaro's memory starts to get worse, so Monophanie tries to correct it with a solid whack to the noggin with a frying pan. It just causes him to quote Portgas D. Ace.
- One of the items used to unlock the next floor of the school is the Octobrush.
- The helmets used for entering the Virtual World look remarkably similar to the PlayStation 4's VR headsets.
- The Virtual World references The Matrix, as the characters put a cable on their head (in this case, helmet) to log-in and have to use a phone to log-out.
- The Virtual World is called the Neo World Program.
- Monokuma regains his motivation by comparing something pointed out in the trial to Sonic the Hedgehog. The Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter responded to this.Monokuma: "Just like that hedgehog who loses all his rings whenever he crashes into stuff... I... I hate that guy and his worldwide fame and his stupid games and... I! Hate! That! Hedgehog!
- Himiko drops another shout-out to Harry Potter during the trial:Himiko: One hundred house points- no, Himiko points- to Shuichi.
- One of the Monokuma Theaters in this chapter makes a strange and indirect reference to Persona 5. Monokuma informs you about how voices are processed and transmitted over a phone and that all snow cones flavors are actually the same flavor with different aromas and food coloring. Both of these are trivia questions asked during school in Persona 5.
- In the class trial, Monokuma says the following, referencing Doraemon:Monokuma: Did they get that from the warehouse too? Geez, that place is like a 4D pocket.
- K1-B0's Arm Cannon might be a reference to Mega Man as it is quite similar to his Blaster.
- D.I.C.E. (aka Kokichi's organization) could be a reference to the animated television series D.I.C.E. (DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises), in which the main characters are an organization run by children, specifically orphans. The series includes a villainous B-DICE organization, which tries to discredit DICE by posing as DICE members, and has a clown and poker motif.
- Motherkuma is an Expy of Mother Brain.
- While investigating in chapter 6, Himiko says the following to K1-B0, referencing Pinocchio:Himiko: You saved us Keebo, now I'll use my magic to turn you into a real boy-
- Before the class trial, Tsumugi says the following, referencing JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:Tsumugi: When someone says 'please' so strongly, I always want to respond with 'But I refuse'.
- After that, K1-B0 uses his zoom vision, which is very similar to a scouter, problably being a Dragon Ball reference.
- In the class trial, Monotaro yells out "One truth prevails!"
- The logos for the previous seasons, Final Danganronpa 5, Dream Danganronpa 6, Shin Danganronpa 7, The Return of Danganronpa 8, Miracle Danganronpa 9, and Anniversary Danganronpa 10 are styled almost exactly like the logos for Final Fantasy VII (right down to the green meteor behind the text), Your Name, Shin Godzilla, Return of Ultraman, Mobile Suit Gundam, and Doraemon respectively.
Free Time Events
- Ouma spends an entire Free Time Event roleplaying Seto Kaiba and makes two Kaiji references in another one. Angie's events also references Studio Ghibli movies, Shinguji's have Yo-Kai Watch. Tsumugi's is as filled with them as you would expect and surprisingly, so are Gonta's. Ryoma's first two Free Time Events with Shuichi also reference characters from The Prince of Tennis.
- Himiko's skill from completing her FTEs in Japanese is called Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, as opposed to the official English's more generic "Abracadabra".
- In Miu's last free time event, she gives you a pie with her hair in it. In one episode of Family Guy, Meg does the same thing with Brian.
- Gonta reveals that he was raised by a race of dinosaur people who fought humans for the position of dominant species in prehistoric but lost.
- He also claims that he fought several strong people in one on one battles, notably an Indian man who breathes fire, a sumo who attacked with a flying headbutt, and "The Red Cyclone".
- K1-B0's skill from completing his FTEs is called "Digital Love," which may reference the Daft Punk song of the same name.
- Tenko says "My body is ready!!" in her Love Hotel event.
- In Ultimate Talent Development Plan, Tenko makes a reference to the infamous meme from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night:Tenko to Leon: So you have come... You miserable pile of secrets.
- At the end of Ultimate Talent Development Plan, Monokid yells out "Papa Kuma heaven or Papa Kuma hell!!! Let's rock!!!", in reference to the Guilty Gear series. Ironic, since Monokid's voice actor plays the main protagonist of the sister series to Guilty Gear, BlazBlue.
- In a conversation between Monokuma and Kokichi in Ultimate Talent Development Plan, Monokuma claims he can tell that Kokichi is lying "'cause his lips are moving", referencing the song by Meghan Trainor.
- One of the options in Tsumugi's first seasonal event in Ultimate Talent Development plan is "Stand up! If you love footb-... er, soccer".
- In the intro to the Love Across the Universe, Monokuma uses the phrase, "Take chances! Get messy! Make mistakes!"
- In Rantaro's Love Across the Universe ending, after remembering his (former) talent as the Ultimate Adventurer, he talks about the adventurers he met
- "Harmony's Last Reward" makes reference to "Virtue's Last Reward", the second game in the Zero Escape series, also made by Spike Chunsoft.
- "True Discipline Come From Within" appears to be a reference to an episode of South Park.
- "Bond. True Bond." is an homage to the legendary James Bond catchphrase.
- "You Need To Diversify Yo Bonds" is a reference to the Dave Chappelle skit "Wu-Tang Financial".
- "Just According to Ronpa" is a reference to a Death Note fansub's "just according to keikaku" line.
- "Reach Out and Touch Wraith" is a reference to the song "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode.
- "The Truth Is Out There" refers to Agent Mulder's catchphrase on The X-Files.
- The achievements "So What's Wrong With Taking The Back Streets?" and "You'll Never Know If You Don't Go" are verbatim lines from the song "All Star" by Smash Mouth.
- "Giving It Up at The Hotel Kumasutra" is a play-on the chorus of "Hotel California" by The Eagles, in addition to using the Love Hotel's "Kuma" pun on the Kama Sutra.
- "Casino Royale With Cheese" references both James Bond AND Pulp Fiction.
- "That's All, Folks!" is a direct reference to Porky Pig's catchphrase said during end cards of old Looney Tunes cartoons.