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  • 187 (1997) - The character of Cesar Vialpando is similar in appearance to Cesar Sanchez. Both are also voiced by Clifton Collins Jr..
  • A Few Good Men (1992) - An in-game movie theatre is shown to playing the film "A Few Good Hens".
  • A New Hope (1977) - The line "Great kid! Don't get cocky!" from Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) is used by Zero in the mission Air Raid.
  • Back to the Future (1985) - The logo for the Trip Skip in the game is a side profile of the Deluxo, which is partially based on the DeLorean DMC-12 used in the film series as a time machine.
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  • Basic Instinct (1992) - A pedestrian has the same appearance as Catherine Tramell (played by Sharon Stone) in the interview scene.
  • The Big Lebowski (1998) - Carl Johnson asks "Does the pope shit in the woods?" during the game, which is a reference to the same question asked by Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, played by Jeff Bridges.
  • Body Harvest (1998) - There is a mission of the same name, which was also a game by Rockstar North, then known as DMA Design.
  • Boyz n the Hood (1991) - A pedestrian in Los Santos, used for as the character model for Alan Crawford, has a similar appearance to Tré Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr..). The film features someone hoping to stay out of the gang problems (Ricky, played by Morris Chestnut, and Tré Styles, played by Cuba Gooding Jr.) but is provoked after an attack from a rival gang, much like Carl Johnson was hoping to stay out of the gang problems but was then ambushed by the Ballas, causing him to become involved. The film also involves Doughboy (Ice Cube) and Monster (Baldwin C. Sykes) driving into the rival gang area and performing a drive-by shooting, just as Carl Johnson, Sweet and Ryder in Drive-By, shortly after an ambush by the Ballas.
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  • Brass Eye (1997) - One of the virtual horses in the betting shops is named Shatner's Bassoon.
  • Casino (1995) - There are many references to this movie in this video game.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) - CHITTYCHITTYBANGBANG is the cheat code to enable flying cars on the PC.
  • Coming to America (1988) - The advertisement for hair product "Lustrious" is a homage to the jingle for "Soul Glo", which is a fictional hair product used as a Running Gag in the film. The "Lustrious" commercial even ends with a high falsetto "LET YOUR FRRROOOOO GGGGGLLLLLOOOOOOWWWWWWW", an almost note-for-note remake of the jingle's "LET YOUR SOOOOOOOUUUUULLLLLL GLLLLLOOOOOOO!!!!!"'' hook.
  • The Color of Money (1986) - While playing pool, Carl Johnson's opponent can be heard asking to be shown "the color of your money"
  • Con Air (1997) - The scene in Reuniting the Families where two motor officers drop donuts to join in the pursuit is a reference to the same scene in the film.
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  • Donnie Darko (2001) - The "Fear It, Do It" motivational technique of Darius Fontaine resembles the technique suggested by Jim Cunningham (played by Patrick Swayze) in the film.
  • Do the Right Thing (1989) - The film features three African-Americans, Radio Raheem, Smiley and Buggin' Out (played by Bill Nunn, Roger Guenveur Smith and Giancarlo Esposito respectively) entering a pizza parlour to demand something, which eventually ends up on the street. This is similar to the mission Ryder where Carl Johnson and Ryder enter the local pizza parlour demanding money before running out and on to the street.
  • Dragnet (1987) - The Epsilon Program and its followers, as well as members appearing at the Los Santos Observatory, may be a reference to the film. The film sees two police officers investigating a gang, whose members are part of a cult. The cult leader has a voice similar to Cris Formage, head of the Epsilon Program. Background music in the film is similar to the music found on the Epsilon Program website.
  • Driver (1999) - Mad Dogg says "Man how could Refractions mess up so bad. Tanner, You suck ass!
  • Easy Rider (1969) - The Truth, voiced by Peter Fonda, is a parody of Wyatt, played by Peter Fonda, from the film.
  • Farewell, My Lovely (1975) - The films name is used for the name of a mission, Farewell, My Love...
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) - Characters talk about seeing polar bears in the game, exactly as they do in the film
  • First Blood (1982) - Angel Pine is similar to the town of Hope, Washington (filmed in Hope, British Columbia) that John Rambo escapes from.
  • Friday (1995) - An elderly African-American pedestrian can be heard saying lines from the films Willie Jones (John Witherspoon).
    • Next Friday (2000)
    • Friday After Next (2002)
  • GoldenEye (1995) - Carl Johnson jumps from the Sherman Dam, in Dam and Blast, in the same fashion as James Bond jumps from the dam in the film.
  • Goodfellas (1990) - A poster for Badfellas, a spoof of the real life film, can be seen during The Introduction while Carl Johnson is in Liberty City.
  • Good Guys Wear Black (1978) - In the mission "Management Issues", the player is required to kill Alan Crawford by driving the limo to the end of the jetty and thus killing him mirrors the climactic part of the film.
  • Grand Theft Auto 2 (1999) - "Jesus saves" graffiti in Los Santos near the Lowrider shop.
  • Grand Theft Auto III (2001) - The main character from III is featured in a mission.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) - Numerous references - Lance Vance and Tommy Vercetti figurines in the RC shop, Vice City maps, etc.
  • Gyruss (1983) - A clone of the game exists as one of the minigames found in various convenience stores.
  • Half-Life 2 (2004) - When you make your way inside the laboratory in Area 69 during the jetpack stealing mission, you will find a crowbar lying on a table. This could be likely a reference to the Half-Life video game where the protagonist, Gordon Freeman wields one when facing enemies.
  • Juice (1992) - There are numerous references to the film on the video game.
  • Kindergarten Cop (1990) - The in-game film Special Needs Cop may be a reference the film Kindergarten Cop starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • The Last of the Mohicans (1992) - An in-game movie theatre is shown to playing the film "The Last of the Mullets".
  • Lemmings (1991) - A building in Las Venturas has pedestrians spawning on the roof and walking off to their deaths.
  • Mad Max 2 (1981) - There are many references to this movie in this video game.
  • Magnum Force (1973) - The appearance of the motor officers/police bikers is similar to that of the "Death Squad" San Francisco Police Department officers in the film.
  • Manhunt (2003) - In the Ganton bar, you can see a grafitti painting of one of the Cerberus from Manhunt on the wall. Carcer City is mentioned on the radio and by pedestrians several times. The knife stealth kill is the same as the hasty knife kill. The Toy Corner store can be seen on a Mule and in Marina in Los Santos.
  • Max Payne (2001) - During the mission 'Tanker Commander', where you have to rob a convenience store, you are thwarted by a window made of bullet-proof glass. The words 'Max Pane' can be seen in the lower corner of the window.
  • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (2003) - The music playing at the beginning of "Reuniting the Families" and "Cut Throat Business" is the same music that plays on the Max Heat show.
  • Menace II Society (1993) - A Grove Street Families gangster has a similar appearance to Kevin "O-Dog" Anderson (played by Larenz Tate. During the mission Ryder the pizza parlour clerk says to Ryder "I feel sorry for your dad", similar to how the Korean liquor store clerk says to O-Dog at the beginning of the film. In the film Caine (played by Tyrin Turner) and Sharif (played by Vonte Sweet) are left in a rival gang territory by the police, much like Carl Johnson is left in Ballas gang territory by Frank Tenpenny, Eddie Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez.
  • Men in Black (1997) - The CIA has two agents in the game. One with light skin, black suit and tie, gray hair, and dark sunglasses. The other agent has dark skin, a black suit with a black tie, black hair and mustache, and black sunglasses. The in-game agents roughly resemble Agent K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (played by Will Smith).
  • Metal Gear Solid (1998) - A reference to Metal Gear/Metal Gear Solid's famous "Box hiding" is made by the character "Tenpenny"
  • Moonraker (1979) - The parachute in the game is identical to the one used by James Bond (played by Roger Moore.
  • Mulholland Dr. (2001) - Mulholland Drive, likely named after the real-name road, may also be a reference to the film Mulholland Dr..
  • New Jack City (1991) - Big Smoke's crack palace in East Los Santos is similar in appearance to the apartment building (Graham Court) used in the film, which is similarly converted into a crack house.
  • Ocean's Eleven (2001) - Similar casino heist.
  • The Pirates of Penzance (1983) - Along with the musical, the film is spoofed with the casino Pirates in Mens Pants.
  • Psycho (1960) - A caller to the Lonely Hearts show on West Coast Talk Radio says tells host Christy Macintyre "I'm watching you Marion in the shower", a reference to the death of Marion Crane in the film.
  • Pulp Fiction (1994) - The "I don't know you! I don't know you! Prank caller! Prank caller!" in a phone call after Farewell, My Love... is a reference to a similar line ("I don't know you. Who is this? Don't come here, I'm hanging up the phone! Prank caller, prank caller!") from Lance (played by Eric Stoltz).
  • Red Dawn (1984) - A radio advertisement for Ammu-Nation refers to the film, involving a fictional Soviet invasion of the United States, as being a documentary.
  • Reservoir Dogs (1992) - An in-game movie theatre is shown to playing the film "Reservoir Dregs".
  • Scarface (1983) (1983) - Tony, the parrot inside Caligula's Palace, says "I never fucked anyone over in my life who didn't have it coming to 'em" in Intensive Care, much like Tony Montana.
  • South Central (1992) - Big Bear has a similar appearance to a drug addict who is friends with Bobby (played by Glenn Plummer).
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - The chase scene involving John Connor (Edward Furlong) fleeing from the T1000 Terminator (Robert Patrick) is similar to the one in Just Business involving Carl Johnson and Big Smoke attempting to lose the Russian Mafia. This includes both the protagonists being on a motorcycle and a lorry being driven into a storm drain from a higher level street. The appearance of the motor officers/police bikers is similar to that used by the T-1000 Terminator in the film.
  • The Shield (2002) - The featured cops in this game are corrupt members of CRASH. The Shield was based on Rampart Division's corrupt CRASH unit. Also the leader kills one of his team members when it was discovered he was a rat.
  • Thief: The Dark Project (1998) - When CJ is robbing the rapper's house the radar screen has a light indicator which Thief the dark project also has.
  • To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) - The car chase from the mission Just Business, involving Big Smoke and Carl Johnson attempt to escape the attention of the Russian Mafia is taken from the film.
  • Top Gun (1986) - Many of the flight rankings gained through flying are references to the call signs of characters from the film.
    • Maverick (LT Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise)
    • Goose (LTJG Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, played by Anthony Edwards)
    • Jester (LCDR Rick "Jester" Heatherly, played by Michael Ironside)
    • Iceman (LT Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, played by Val Kilmer)
    • Viper (CDR Mike "Viper" Metcalf, played by Tom Skerritt)
  • The Transporter (2002) - Carl Johnson rescues a number of Asian refugees being illegally smuggled into the United States to be sold for slavery during The Da Nang Thang, much as Frank Martin (played by Jason Statham) does during the film.
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) - An in-game movie theatre is shown to playing the film "The Wizard of Ass".
  • Traffic (2000) - The same color scheme used in 'Traffic' with the separate stories is used on each separate island in 'San Andreas'; Hazy orange/browns for Los Santos; cold, icy blues for San Fierro and warm greens for Las Venturas.
  • True Crime: Streets of L.A. (2003) - Billboard sign.
  • Twin Peaks (1990) - Pulaski
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