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Star Wars

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  • Several locations are named after planets from the franchise (eg. "Tatooin Station," "Dagoba Municipal Park," "Hosu (Hoth) City." "Kamino Ward", "Nabu (Naboo) Junior High," etc.). The Hero Killer fight takes place in "Echo Alley", in Hosu City. There's also the shopping mall, "Wookie's".
    • The primary location of the second movie is "Nabu (Naboo) Island".
  • Ojiro's hero costume is clearly based on Luke Skywalker's farming clothes from A New Hope.
  • One of Mirio's finishing moves is named "Phantom Menace". This one didn't make it into the official sub and dub, being changed to "Phantom Threat" to avoid a possible lawsuit with Disney.
  • During the 10-month training before receiving One For All, one of the training exercises Midoriya had to perform was carrying All Might on his back/shoulders similarly to how Yoda had Luke do the same thing in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Done at the Dagoba Municipal Park mentioned earlier, no less.
  • The Power Suit Mei Hatsume tests with Midoriya looks a lot like a bulky Stormtrooper armor, sans the helmet.
  • Gran Torino's small size and Obfuscating Stupidity when meeting Midoriya are very much Yoda-like. His fighting style also involves bouncing and zipping around whatever area he's in, much like Yoda when he gets serious.
    • If Gran Torino is Yoda, then Nana is Qui-Gon Jinn. She has his hairstyle, and she's the mentor of the protagonist's mentor who died when he was still young.
  • The helmet All for One wears in the Hideout Raid is reminiscent of Darth Vader's, down to the breathing tubes under the chassis.
  • Nagamasa Mora's hero name, Chewyee, is a reference to Han Solo's nickname for Chewbacca.
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  • The hospital where the Doctor is operating out of and where the heroes go to raid is Jaku General Hospital, a reference to Rey's home planet from The Force Awakens.
  • In Chapter 291, Toya Todoroki's track suit has the rebel alliance starbird symbol printed on its chest.
  • During Star and Stripe's fight with Shigaraki, one of the pilots accompanying her is called Wedge, like one of Luke's Red Squadron wingmen. The reference is furthered in Chapter 331 when her superior is named Agpar and greatly resembles the franchise's Admiral Ackbar.
  • Inko Midoriya's Quirk allows her to telekinetically levitate (small) objects towards her then grab them. This is very similar to the Force Pull, one of the most common abilities displayed by the Jedi.

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Kamen Rider

  • During the License Exam, an unnamed character seen running toward Tenya and Aoyama looks quite a lot like Ichigo or Nigo.
  • The Hotta brothers from the Vigilante spin-off are basically a giant love letter to the franchise:
    • with their Grasshopper Quirk active, they look similar to Kamen Rider Shin.
    • Their Double Hotta Kick is performed the same way as the Double Rider Kick used when Ichigo and Nigo team up.
    • Their powers are activated using an experimental product created by a villainous organization, similar to how early Riders were the product of Shocker.
    • The Hotta brothers are also members of Villain Factory, making them similar to the Shocker Riders.
  • The anime exclusive character Saiko Intelli is a reference to Sento Kiryu from Kamen Rider Build.
    • When Saiko uses her Quirk, some formulas are shown around her. Sento also does occasionally this, particularly in his Genius form.
    • Saiko catchphrase "my formula of success is already decided" is also almost identical to one of Sento's catchphrases "my winning formula has been determined."

Comics

  • The tankobon release covers evoke old comic book covers, title character face in a box and all. Sadly, rather than putting the price tag in the box as the comics did to complete the homage, Shueisha apparently decided to put the chapter titles there.
  • In the first chapter, silhouettes of Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, along with Kamen Rider, Ultraman, and Devilman can be seen. Of course, this doesn't translate to the anime adaptation due to copyright restrictions.
  • Tsuyu Asui is said to do "whatever a frog can". Spider-Man has a theme song saying he "does whatever a spider can". Her powers are also the same as Toad's.
  • Midoriya pretty much sums up the premise of Marvel Team-Up and The Brave and the Bold in the Battle Trial arc.
  • One of the heroes watching the tournament in chapter 34 looks like a beefed-up Flash.
  • One of the hero agencies that wants to hire Todoroki is the Kal-El Agency.
  • The cover for Volume 9 of the manga is extremely reminiscent of a cover of Ultimate Spider-Man.
  • Bakugo's outfit at home in chapter 96 includes a t-shirt with a skull design that evokes The Punisher.
  • Upon seeing Class 1-A's dormitories in Chapter 98, Mina calls U.A. a "School for Gifted Youngsters."
  • In chapter 101, the part where Hatsume puts Midoriya in an armored suit that nearly breaks his spine is a clear reference to Iron Man 2. The part where she gives Iida gauntlets that launch him into the ceiling may also be a reference to the first movie when Tony Stark is testing out the glove thrusters while building his suit.
  • At one point, America is referred to as the home of heroes, referencing how the manga's heroes are all inspired by the likes of American comics like Marvel Comics and DC Comics.
    • My Hero Academia: Vigilantes expands on this. Historically, the system of granting licenses for legalized heroism first originated in Rhode Island, with seven vigilantes being made licensed heroes. This mirrors the origins of the Justice League of America, which started with seven members and were based in Rhode Island.
  • The official Viz translation of the manga has used the term "Metahuman" a couple of times; this is the catch-all name for superheroes that aren't technology-based in DC Comics.
  • Chapter 115 seems to be a shout out to Watchmen, with a mentally unstable masked man walking the streets, watching corruption, and monologuing to himself. It's certainly enough of a tone shift from the rest of the series to stick out.
  • Midoriya's initial costume has a semi-transparent mouthpiece that resembles the mask of a certain big purple hobo.
  • The surnames of David and Melissa Shield, who were introduced in the movie, are likely a shoutout to the Marvel Comics organization S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • In Chapter 187, Todoroki Rei has a flower from her abusive husband in her hospital room that is implied to be proof of his love, alluding to the ending of the Batman comic Mad Love.
  • The robot assistants of Recovery Girl bear a striking resemblance to Kelex, Superman's Kryptonian assistant in the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Detnerat's CEO has a number of similarities to The Joker, starting with his thin build and pointed features. In fact, his very first appearance in a commercial has him making expressions and gestures which are clearly an homage to one of Joker's monologues from The Killing Joke.
  • Chapter 229 also has a reference to The Killing Joke as it details how Twice’s life spiraled into villainy with the Joker’s iconic “All it takes is one bad day” quote as the chapter title.
  • The second movie of the franchise, Heroes Rising, has a woman called Slice among the villains: a redhead whose quirk is using her hair like blades. She's likely inspired by Medusa from The Inhumans.
  • In Chapter 245, the Flaming Sidekicks all yell out "Flame on!" when greeting Deku, Todoroki, and Bakugo.
  • Aoyama's Quirk causes him to uncontrollably fire a beam of energy from his body, and he uses a gadget to regulate it. Very much like Marvel's Cyclops.
  • A surprisingly obscure one, but Momo's costume bears a not-so-subtle resemblance to DC villain the Wanderer.
  • Another obscure reference. Marvel Comics' U.S. 1 featured Mary McGrill, a waitress who, under hypnosis from a villain, took a secret identity called Midnight. Even if she wears a more sexualized costume, the manga's Midnight looks quite similar.
  • All For One freeing himself and numerous other dangerous criminals from Tartarus and sending them Midoriya's way to physically and mentally wear him down before their next confrontation, takes a few leads from the famous Knight Fall storyline, where Bane busts out a bunch of criminals from Arkham Asylum and Batman gets so exhausted trying to stop them all that Bane ends up defeating him and breaking his spine when they first fight.
  • Deku's pose at the end of Chapter 306 brings to mind the famous Batman "Knightwatch" art by Jim Lee.
  • In Chapter 317, the sequence of hero Death Arms retiring after cracking to extreme pressure ends with a panel of him walking away in civilian clothes, strongly reminding the most iconic panel of Peter Parker in the classic Spider-Man: No More! storyline.
  • Another Spider-Man refrence appears at the end of Chapter 340, when Shinso makes iconic pose hanging from above upside down using his scarf.

Anime & Manga

  • The author has admitted that Naruto was a huge influence for the series' foundations. Much of the premise of My Hero Academia shows similarities to Naruto's. Some examples are listed below.
    • Midoriya starts out without a significant power, but ends up receiving a power that is passed down by its previous user. This is similar to the Tailed Beast (Nine-tailed Fox) sealed within Naruto. Both Midoriya and Naruto spend the story learning more about this power, communicating with it and learning to control it (and losing control many times in the process). Additionally, there are 9 Tailed Beasts (excluding their merged form) and 9 known (previous) wielders of One For All, if Midoriya is included.
    • Quite a few of the supporting characters resemble counterparts from Naruto and their relationships to the main character. Bakugo is the main rival and benchmark, mimicking Sasuke, including cocky personality with hidden depths. Todoroki is the second, more level-headed rival, much like Gaara becomes after the timeskip. Todoroki's flame side even has the same hair and eye-colour as Gaara. Both also have a character plot that revolves around their distorted relationship with their father figures.
    • All Might in particular takes on a similar mentor role as Kakashi and Jiraiya in his true form, aiding the main character in learning to properly wield their power. When in his Hero form, All Might strongly resembles Might Guy in both his boisterous personality and strong focus on flashy close combat fighting style. All Might is also the one to pass One For All on to Midoriya, much like how Minato sealed the Nine-tails in his own son Naruto. Both are either the father of the main character or act as a father figure and are associated with the color yellow.
    • Stain's Quirk and fighting style are a direct reference to Hidan of the Akatsuki. Both their powers are centered around obtaining and ingesting the blood of their opponents in order to gain a significant advantage over them. Both characters use specialized weaponry and adopt a fighting style that explicitly revolves around maximizing the chance of injuring targets and retrieving blood.
    • Many more characters appear whose quirks reference those of Naruto characters. For example, Tokoyami fights using a shadow power that extends from his body, much like Shikamaru. Mt. Lady can grow large, like the Akimichi family and Kamui fights using wood that grows from his own body, similar to the wood release.
  • In the anime version of Kirishima and Sato vs Cementoss, they yell out "ORA!" as they punch through the cement blocks, which is reminiscent of Star Platinum's iconic battle cry.
    • Aoyama's Chest Blaster and hands-behind-head pose while firing is ripped right from Rudolf von Stroheim.
    • At the start of the Joint Training Arc, Monoma makes Dio's "Wryyyyy" pose.
    • Some characters have Quirks similar or identical to existing Stands. Chisaki's Overhaul can disassemble and reassemble things, like Josuke Higashikata's Crazy Diamond; Curious's Landmine can turn anything she touches into a bomb, like Yoshikage Kira's Killer Queen; Gentle Criminal's Elasticity can turn anything elastic, like Trish Una's Spice Girl; Star and Stripe's New Order can bend reality by applying a rule to an object like how Enrico Pucci's Whitesnake can insert a DISC that contains instructions that the target will obey, even outside their physical limitations.
  • Midoriya's hero costume makes him look like a green rabbit with a Grin of Audacity, much like Shiina.
  • In Chapter 78, as Tokoyami is swallowed by Dark Shadow, its eyes looks like that from the Beast of Darkness from Berserk.
  • In chapter 107, some of the students who haven't passed the first trial yet are shown with Kanchiki Ryotsu's trademark Big Ol' Eyebrows.
  • In Chapter 137, when Nighteye confirms Overhaul's hideout and where Eri is, the toy that Eri's caretaker is buying is a clear reference to Pretty Cure, with the box saying "Pretty Yure 10." The characters on the box also seem to resemble Cure Lovely and Cure Princess from HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!, being a reference to how Pretty Cure was celebrating its 10th anniversary when My Hero Academia first started serialization. The animated version has the subtitles translate it as "Glitter Squad", referencing how Smile Pretty Cure! was released on Netflix as Glitter Force.
  • Shoji looks like he crawled right out of Parasyte.
  • Also from the second popularity poll, the big group shot of the main winners (which is fantasy-themed) includes All Might carrying the Dragon Slayer, because of course he would.
  • The first episode of season 3 seems to be just one long shout-out to Free! as it follows the guys of class 1-A in various swimming competitions.
  • Right before she passes out at the end of the entrance exam, Uraraka vomits rainbows.
  • The Sturm und Drang Brothers in Vigilante have an attack formation based on the Jetstream Attack of the Black Tri-Stars in Mobile Suit Gundam, with the three of them lining up in a row and each using a different different "attack" in rapid succession, facilitated by their superior speed and agility. The difference being that the Tri-Stars used actual attacks, while the Sturm und Drang Brothers are just idiotic perverts who in turn flip a woman's skirt, steal her panties, and wear the stolen panties.
  • Overhaul's Quirk is functionally similar to alchemy depicted in Fullmetal Alchemist, where his touch breaks down matter which he can then rearrange however he likes. Overhaul can also kill people in the same bloody manner as Scar, who only uses the deconstruction step of alchemy.
  • In chapter 259, Denji from Chainsaw Man can be spotted in the massive gathering of pro-heroes, fully transformed, engine revving up, and ready to go right at the villains on a moment's notice. Later, in chapter 280, Pochita can be spotted riding on one of Majestic's rings to battle Gigantomachia.
  • In Episode 87, the boy who wants to meet Endeavor has pink hair and a yellow scarf with red lines that make a scale pattern. One wonders if he had another motive to want to meet the fire using Hero.
    • The English dub practically confirms this shoutout when Todd Haberkorn turned out to be the boy's voice actor.
  • In Episode 88, a flashback of the Todoroki siblings shows Natsuo wearing a shirt that says "BLACK" with the symbol of a clover.
  • A subtle one, but Deku appears to be a walking shout-out to Flame of Recca: Both One For All and Recca's Flame Dragon powers are collections of various special abilities from their previous users, complete with the ability to telepathically commune with the souls of said users. In addition, the eighth wielder of the Hokage's flame powers and the Eighth Dragon, Oka/Resshin, is Recca's biological father, while All Might, the eighth One For All wielder, acts as Midoriya's father figurenote . Even better? At least two of the abilities from both sets are identical in function if not in form; namely, Homura's Flame Whip vs. Banjo's Blackwhip, and Rui's Illusions vs. En's Smokescreen.
  • Chapter 317: Deku's new look resembles that of Garou, and his costume looks similar to the Berserker Armor.
  • Chapter 346-347: Shigaraki kicks his Healing Factor to overdrive, regrowing his missing fingers that continues to grow into big mass of malformed, mutated flesh that dwarves his own body. Add in his shirtless, caped appearance, it makes the scene a dead ringer to the infamous Body Horror scene from AKIRA (one of the series' main inspirations, no less). Unlike Tetsuo, Shigaraki is fully in control of it. Likewise in Chapter 371, Shoji reels up a superpowered punch against Spinner with his right arm messily consisting of the various body parts he can conjure up.

Film

  • Tetsutetsu's hero name is "Real Steel".
  • Alien:
    • Mina Ashido initially chooses the codename Alien Queen. Completely lampshaded. In the manga, she even name-checks the director of the first movie, with her full title being "Ridley Hero: Alien Queen". In a between-chapter panel in the graphic novel collection, she further mentions that she really should have gone with "Cameron Hero", since the queen is from the second movie, which Ridley Scott didn't direct.
    • Power Loader's hero name and Powered Armor gear is a nod to the Power Loader, a similarly powerful yellow exoskeleton.
  • Chapter 46 introduces a hero named Gran Torino...which could also be a reference to the car.
  • "The Ultimate Space for Jams".
  • Aizawa's hero name, Eraser Head, is an allusion to the David Lynch movie.
  • When Mineta finds a hole in the wall between the boys' and girls' locker rooms that had been covered up by a sign, he says that some of the older students "Shawshanked" their way through the wall, referencing Andy escaping his cell by tunneling through the wall and using a poster to cover up the hole.
  • Overhaul defeats a group of petty villains called the Reservoir Dogs.
  • In the English dub, Mustard mockingly asks Tetsutetsu if he thinks he's The Terminator.
  • In the manga, the minefield part of the School Festival race is compared with the minefield scene from Rambo III.
  • In chapter 209, All For One quotes the Charlie Chaplin film Monsieur Verdoux.
  • The way the Detnerat CEO callously kills his secretary, but evidently both mourns and regrets it is disturbingly similar to when Thanos kills Gamora to obtain the Soul Stone in Infinity War
  • The Sketch that Horikoshi released in order to promote the second My Hero Academia movie is an absolutely cluster of references to various movies.
    • In the background, Shigaraki is dressed and barely visible as Predator.
    • Midoriya is in the middle, dressed as Pinhead and holding the Lament Configuration.
    • In the background, Jiro, Todoroki and Fatgum are dressed as My Neighbor Totoro, with Fatgum particularly looking the part and even mimicking his format. Ochaco and Mineta are also dressed as Satsuki and Mei.
  • The second movie got another shout out in the chapter 222 cover, where Midoriya is drawn as Mothra, with Horikoshi joking that that is the key-visual for the movie.
    • The movie itself features an appearance by a character who’s quirk is literally that he’s Godzilla. His name, Gojiro (Godzillo) is one letter away in both English and Japanese, and his bio states he's an actor from Japan who stars in Kaiju movies and briefly lived in the US in the late 90's.
  • In Chapter 230, one of the melting Twice's does the T-800's signature thumbs-up pose.
  • Chapter 241 introduces Hero Expert Aorio Kuraishisu, who has a face resembling Pazuzu from The Exorcist.
  • As Dabi reveals himself to be Toya Todoroki in Chapter 290, he performs a deranged dance reminiscent of Arthur Fleck's iconic stairway scene in Joker (2019).

Literature

  • Class 1-B's presentation for the Cultural Festival is a high-fantasy work titled "Romeo and Juliet, and The Prisoner of Azkaban: The Return of the Kings". Which gets acknowledged in-universe as a mashup of multiple stories.
  • The character La Brava has the same name as a book by Elmore Leonard. The book is about a photographer who starts a romance with an older actress whose movies he loved, similar to how La Brava fell in love with a man who made internet videos and started a romance with him while filming his videos/becoming his partner in crime.
  • The item Mei is trying out in the woods that is caught by All might seem to be cyberpunk version of a Golden Snitch, likely for Class 1-B's presentation for the Cultural Festival.
  • Ashido subjects Mineta to what suspiciously looks like the Ludovico Technique in Chapter 217.
  • Chapter 225, in which Chitose tries to interview Toga, is called "Interview With A Vampire". Hmmm...

Video Games

  • When Present Mic is going over the rules of the Mock City entrance exam, he uses silhouettes of characters from Super Mario Bros. as an example, as seen in the page image. Again, the anime throws this out the window due to copyright, but it replaces it with its own rendition of Present Mic in an RPG complete with sprites. However, that didn't stop Horikoshi from introducing Mirio, whose name is a phonetic homage to "Mario", and whose face resembles Mario's beady-eyed toon appearance from Paper Mario.
  • Speaking of whom, Mirio has been compared to Vault Boy and speculated to be an intentional homage.
  • While training with Gran Torino, Midoriya attempts to train his use of One For All by wall-jumping. He directly compares the method (repeatedly kicking off walls to ascend) to how wall-jumping works in Mega Man X.
  • Speaking of Gran Torino, his outfit resembles that of a Mega Man (Classic) character - particularly Proto Man, color scheme aside.
  • When he lost control of Dark Shadow, it and Tokoyami looked a lot like Eddie and Zato from Guilty Gear.
  • While touring the rooms, it's apparent that Tokoyami has a replica Master Sword and Hylian Shield in his room; the insignia on the shield is obscured in the dark and the sword is in a scabbard, but the hilt is unmistakable.
  • The Chapter 120 reveal of the second popularity contest results includes full illustrations of two characters who aren't even from Jump - those being Mega Man X and Pikachu. Because two readers voted for them for some reason.
  • During the car crash during Chapter 160, Spinner yells out "Grand Theft Auto!" (At least in the English version).
  • One of the background heroes in the Remedial Class appears to be based on Duke Nukem.
  • After the Paranormal Liberation War arc, the hospital where everyone stays at has staff that are clearly meant to be references to characters from Super Mario Bros. One of them looks similar to Yoshi, another has a mushroom head like a Toad, and yet another has a similar face to Mario himself.
  • In Chapter 371, Shigaraki mentions that he plays League of Legends.

Other

  • In the English dubbed version of the anime, Bakugo frequently calls Todoroki "Icy-Hot" due to his Half-Hot/Half-Cold quirk. This could be referenced to the medical pain relief products of the same name.
  • In the second OVA, the kid with the zombification quirk is named Romero.
  • The victory dance Uraraka, Sero, Kirishima, and Kaminari do after finding out they've all passed the first half of the License Exam is the one from the Yatta! meme. They even chant "Yatta!" in the Japanese version of the anime.
  • This shot in Episode 6 of Season 4 is a reference to The Beatles' famous album cover of Abbey Road.
  • The "Hood" High-End's head looks almost identical to The Guy's, the mascot for Disturbed.
  • In the USJ arc, Class 1-A are introduced to a rescue training facility called the "Unforeseen Simulation Joint". They notice the name shares the same initials as Universal Studios Japan.
    • During the Provisional License Exam arc, Eraser Head takes Class 1-A to a specialized gym called "Training Dining Land", or TDL for short. In the subtitled version of the anime, Midoriya thinks that it might make "a certain mouse" mad at UA, because TDL is also the abbreviation used for Tokyo Disney Land. In the dubbed version, he simply says "first, the USJ, and now this?!".
  • Tomokazu Chikakozu, one of the Meta Liberation Army members, is the company director of Feel Good Inc.. There's even a gorilla-looking man behind him when his name is revealed, to strengthen the reference.
  • According to the author, Midoriya's hero name, Deku, is inspired by a line from Kenji Miyazawa's famous poem, "Undefeated by the Rain", which describes a man who desires to help others but not be a bother to them even if he's beaten down and called useless.
  • Recovery Girl has a Kamui Woods-themed PEZ dispenser.
  • Kirishima blatantly says in the manga that he ordered some night-vision goggles from Amazon. In the anime, it's changed to Omozon, and Gran Torino orders a new microwave from them after stomping on his old one.
  • While panicking at the mock interview with Mt. Lady, the text behind Midoriya reading "Frozen Stiff" are built with LEGO bricks.
  • During the Paranormal Liberation War, Mirko (the Rabbit Hero) finds Dr. Garaki in his lab and greets him by saying "What's up, doc?".
  • In the Vigilante spin-off, two of mutated criminals have appearence of [[Western Animation/Thomas&Friends famous characters from]] [[Western Animation/Chuggington train related cartoons.]]

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