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The Fallout series is a series overloaded with references. Aside from the obvious Mad Max and 1950's pulp sci-fi influences, almost every special encounter in the games (nearly any Random Encounter that isn't pure combat) is a reference to something, from Star Trek to Monty Python and more.

The series as a whole


Fallout 2

Fallout 3

  • A full list can be found here.
  • "The Nuka-Cola Challenge" is, obviously, a reference to the 'Pepsi Challenge' ad campaign.
  • Three Dog's style is an Homage/Expy of noted Fifties DJ Wolfman Jack.
  • The tree-god Harold in Oasis says of his followers, "They hear me, but they don't really listen, if you know what I mean." That can be seen as a reference to the song "I Talk to the Trees" from the 1969 musical Paint Your Wagon: ''I talk to the trees / But they don't listen to me..."
  • Dr. Zimmer's android bodyguard is called Armitage. And the entirety of "The Replicated Man" sidequest is a Homage to Blade Runner.
  • One of the game's sidequests has you steal the Declaration of Independence.
  • Nuka-Cola Quantum's marketing slogan is "Take the leap...enjoy a Quantum!"
  • The main quest "Tranquility Lane" is one huge Homage to Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.
  • This game's version of the .44 Magnum revolver has an attached scope, in reference to Lord Humungus' weapon in The Road Warrior.
    • In general, the Mad Max films are referenced prominently throughout the game. Most notably, the Raiders encountered throughout the Capital Wasteland have their clothing and armor designed to resemble the armor used by the antagonists and bandits of The Road Warrior. Additionally, Little Lamplight being a settlement made up entirely of young children in a post-apocalyptic wasteland is likely a reference to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
  • Mirelurk Kings are essentially Fallout's version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • The members of the Temple of the Union are all named after members of Abraham Lincoln's executive staff.
  • Liberty Prime is a clear Shout-Out to The Iron Giant, complete with the US government trying and utterly failing to destroy it (at least in the main campaign, that is).
  • In the Georgetown townhouse, there is a Mr. Handy acting like nothing has happened in the intervening 200 years, and whom will go to the (long dead) children's room and read them the famous poem "There Will Come Soft Rains" (in which nature rolls on after mankind has killed itself in nuclear war). Indeed, the whole house is a reference to Ray Bradbury's story based on the poem (You can read it on this website or this PDF document.)
  • The Mysterious Stranger carries a .44 Magnum. The Mark Twain story The Mysterious Stranger has an alt title: No. 44.
  • The Dunwich Building is named after The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft, and has a suitably Lovecraftian atmosphere. The Good Karma ending to the quest "The Dark Heart of Blackhall" (given in the Point Lookout DLC) involves taking a Necronomicon Expy there to be destroyed.
  • Doctor Lesko is named after the scientist from the 1970s ant movie Phase IV, and sounds like (and is about as responsible as) Professor Farnsworth.
  • Tenpenny Tower is possibly a Shout-Out to Land of the Dead, where a corrupt leader has an elitist refuge against the outside world under threat by zombies (who are significantly smarter than most others think they are).
  • In the game's opening, one of the images shown is the head of a statue, lying amongst a pile of rubble. This could be reminiscent of the poem "Ozymandias", as is the general theme of the entire game.
  • You find a highly-intelligent Super Mutant named Fawkes in Isolation Cell 5 of a vault that was a secret government installation testing the use of gene and germ therapy on unwilling subjects. Sound familiar?
  • Mayor R.J. Macready of Little Lamplight probably takes his name from a character in The Thing (1982).
  • The houses in Minefield are one big reference to Hideo Kojima's Snatcher. You find a dead body labelled "Gibson", said body is missing his head, which is placed near the body, and searching said body yields a note reading "Search the house!" Searching said house yields items. This is referencing Snatcher's Jean-Jack Gibson, who also ended up decapitated and had the exact same note on him.
  • There's a restaurant chain called Dot's Diners.
  • When they spot you, Mothership Zeta's Abominations will point their fingers at you and make a really creepy open-mouthed howl, a reference to the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • When the game was released, many reviewers pointed out similarities to Philip K. Dick's The Penultimate Truth, including the hero venturing out from an underground vault into an irradiated wasteland and finding out the President of the United States, heard only over loudspeakers, is secretly an artificial intelligence. Not only that, but the game's 50s-inspired Zeerust aesthetic and tragicomic black humor owe a significant debt to the author's work.
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes has some pretty clear influences on the game, what with a ruined subway station that leads to a human settlement and a cult that worships a nuclear bomb.
  • During the main questline of Broken Steel, the player encounters a pair of ghouls named Wint and Kidd.
  • Help Rosie take over the Republic of Dave during Election Day and she gives you the code to Dave's safe: 1138.

Fallout: New Vegas

Has its own page.

Fallout 4

Has its own page.

Fallout 76

Has its own page.

Fallout: Van Buren

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel

  • Special Encounters:
    • A crashed plane with the remains of Amelia Earhart hanging out of the cockpit.
    • A liquid metal brahmin named the B1000 that spouts Terminator quotes.
    • A bazaar where the party can purchase the Devilthorn Jacket, a reference to the Demonspike Coat from Diablo (and completely unwearable due to having the exact same stat requirements.) The people in the bazaar also spout common MMORPG player lines (in particular from EverQuest.)
    • Two super mutants named the The Brothers Grimm.
    • A building full of people being used as human batteries for a robot overlord.
    • Two bickering factions named the Canadian People's Front and the People's Front of Canada (named after Monty Python's Life of Brian's Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea.)
    • A woman named Janet Badall (named after Jane Goodall) trying to open and free a cage full of deathclaws.
    • A group of invisible "Evereddy Bunnies" boasting about how they keep going and going (a reference to the Energizer Bunny.)
    • The Komodo Man (a reference to Steve Irwin).
    • A couple of l33tspeak-speaking people named Ph4tman and L33tleboy (named after the two bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II).
    • The wreckage of Soviet research station Mir.
    • A near Pitch Black area covered in deathclaws, with a man named Riddick offering to lead you out safely.
    • A "Reaver Dance" (a reference to the Riverdance.)
    • A brahmin named Cole surrounded by ghost brahmin, claiming that "I see dead brahmin."
    • The body of Jack Dawson, carrying the Heart of the Ocean and a painting of one of his French girls (which is just a stick figure drawing.)
    • A cameo from Morte from Planescape: Torment.
    • You can come across a group of Super Mutants named the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. All they do is complain about their living conditions. Famine is always complaining how nothing ever grows around the camp. Pestilence is always coughing and tired, saying he's going back to bed. Death is complaining about how nobody ever respects life anymore, and War is contemplating giving peace a chance, and how people complain how he never changes.
      War: War never changes? FUCK YOU! YOU DON'T KNOW ME!
  • One of robots' combat taunts is "Hey, baby, wanna kill all da humans?"
  • A throwing weapon that is a shiny metal orb with blades and a drill bit sticking out of it is called a "fantasy ball".

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel