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Damage Hero Shout-Outs
- Killing McCree on Horizon Lunar Colony: "See you, space cowboy."
- One of her anniversary 2019 lines is "I want your boots, your jacket, and your motorcycle."
- Bastion has two direct references to The Iron Giant: Its "Giant" spray evokes the imagery of the film and its titular giant, and the manner of which Bastion sits down is also directly lifted from the film.
- For the 2016 Rio Olympics, Bastion got a boxing emote, where it sprouts two Red Boxing Gloves and throws a few punches before its head pops up, referencing the game Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.
- Bastion's Anniversary dance emote is a dance move from the 1995 song "C'mon N' Ride It" by Quad City DJ's.
- Bastion's Anniversary-exclusive "ZUR ZUR EE NUM" voice line is unintelligible, but is spoken in the exact same rhythm as a Dalek saying "Exterminate! Exterminate!"
- His Rising Uppercut functions exactly as a Shoryuken from Street Fighter. What makes this an actual shout out is that the animation itself functions the same way as when Ryu or Ken pulls off the move: Doomfist floats in the air at the top of his launch for a split second before momentum stops and gravity takes over. Taken further with Doomfist's "Move Fist" spray, which shows the aforementioned moves' button combo. Another reference is his "Supersonic Boom" spray, which shows him in a pose similar as Charlie/Nash's when using the move.
- Doomfist also has a "Combo Breaker!" voiceline, referencing the same line from Killer Instinct.
- Another unlockable line is "One punch is all I need," a quote from One-Punch Man.
- His Caution and Irin skins resemble the Jack series from Tekken, with the latter adding Colossus-esque steel skin.
- An interaction with Junkrat has him claim "I'd have gotten my fist sooner if it wasn't for those meddling kids!"
- Among his many taunts is, "You come at the king, you better not miss," quoting Omar Little's line in The Wire.
- His "The Greatest" spray shows Doomfist standing triumphantly over a wrecked OR15, in the same way that Muhammad Ali stood over Sonny Liston◊.
- One of his Summer Games voice lines is "So mean I make medicine sick," a famous line of Muhammad Ali.
- The "Blackhand Doomfist" skin styles him after Blackhand from World of Warcraft, specifically his molten Warlords of Draenor appearance.
- His Swamp Monster skin is a reference to the horror movie Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- A voice line has him state he finds your lack of belief...troubling.
- His old "Ryuugekiken!" ult-casting quote is a translated quote from Miyamoto Musashi. It's also an attack of Robert Garcia of Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters.
- His name and a few tidbits of his character seem to be a reference to The Tale of Genji, whose protagonist, also named Genji, pursued a carefree lifestyle pursuing women and was abandoned from a prestigious lineage, this time being actual Japanese royalty instead of the Yakuza-esque Shimada clan.
- One of his voice lines quotes Haohmaru's pre-fight phrase.
- Genji's Sentai skin is based on various sentai shows, though its design appears to be particularly inspired by Kamen Rider. Many of the skin's exclusive lines are also direct quotes: "Fantastic technique!* ", "Dokidoki Yukai!* ", "Break the Limit!* ", "Unbreakable Body!* ", "Heeeenshin!" and "Toh!"
- His Anniversary voice line is "You seem nice. I hate to kill you," quoting Inigo Montoya's line to the Man in Black in The Princess Bride.
- His dance from the Anniversary event references moves from Kinjaz, a ninja-themed dance group who appeared on America's Best Dance Crew.
- His "Baihu" Lunar New Year skin features a new pair of swords inscribed with the names of Gang Jiang and Mo Ye in Chinese. The Dragonblade in this skin is also made to resemble the Sword of Goujian, only blue instead of gold (unless you earned Genji's golden weapons).
- One of his Anniversary voice lines is The sword is an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
- His name is a reference to renowned samurai Hattori Hanzo.
- Hanzo has the line, " I choose you, Spirit Dragon!" A reference to Pokémon.
- Hanzos unlockable Halloween voice line is "You are already dead," a quote from Fistofthe North Star.
- His "From One Thing" voice clip quotes the line ""From one thing, know ten thousand things," from Go Rin No Sho: A Book of Five Rings written by Miyamoto Musashi.
- In the "Dragons" short, Hanzo is shown curving an arrow's path with a string-twisting technique used by Nam-Yi, the main character in Arrow: The Ultimate Weapon.
- Hanzo's Dance emote for the Overwatch Anniversary is based on "Soran Bushi", a traditional Japanese folk song.
- Junkrat's character design and reckless love of explosives call to mind a goblin from World of Warcraft, and two of his lines pay homage to them. "If I had a Ph.D, they'd call me Doctor Boom!" refers to a goblin NPC of that name (which in itself is likely a play on Doctor Doom.) "Time is money, friends—and we're almost flat broke!" echoes a common greeting from goblin vendors when clicked on.
- As if they weren't already paying enough homage to Mad Max, in the "Going Legit" comic, Junkrat exclaims "What a lovely day!"
- One of Junkrat's lines has him delightedly declaring, "Oi'm the Evil Australian Bomber, what bombs at whatever time he damn well pleases!", referencing The Tick.
- The smiley face on the lid of his gun looks a lot like Blink-182's logo. Australia was one of the first places where Blink gained a following.
- When a friendly Junkrat uses his RIP-Tire, he'll announce it with "Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!" This is the opening line of Indy Car races.
- One of Junkrat's emotes has him get up and dance on his RIP-tire like Michigan J. Frog from One Froggy Evening.
- Sometimes after defeating Reaper, Junkrat will ask "Why so serious?" quoting the Joker's line from The Dark Knight.
- The smiley faces on his shorts and explosives strongly resemble those often used by the child hacker Edward from Cowboy Bebop.
- His "Smoke" spray, with smoke forming the quote "Somebody stop me!" is a reference to a line from The Mask.
- Junkrat tries to quote the famous rhyme regarding his namesake Guy Fawkes, but forgets it part way: "Remember remember... the heck was I sayin'?"
- His Junkenstein skin and the lines associated with it are of course a reference to Frankenstein (1931).
- Junkrat's anniversary dance is based on a dance Will Smith did in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
- McCree is designed after the character played by Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. He even has this unlockable voice line: "I'm not good. I'm not bad. But I sure as hell ain't ugly." Additionally, he has a spray titled "High Noon" the resembles the poster for the film.
- During the standoff in his "Reunion" short, the piano riff and choir melody are parodying "The Ecstasy of Gold", which is the song that plays during the final standoff in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
- One of his voice lines is "I'm your huckleberry," which was the catch phrase of Doc Holliday in Tombstone.
- Another one of his voice lines is "I'm the quick. You're the dead," referencing The Quick and the Dead.
- One of his voice lines is "Reach for the sky," referencing Woody's pre-recorded catchphrase in Toy Story. In the French translation, the line is changed to referencing "There's a snake in my boot!" from the same film.
- His ultimate attack is also called Deadeye and involves him painting targets before unloading en masse with his revolver. These reference similar abilities of the same name in Rockstar Games' Red Dead series, which at the time of Overwatch's release, consisted of Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption. Hilarity ensued in late 2018, as the leader of McCree's former gang, Ashe, was added to the game exactly a week after the release of Red Dead Redemption II.
- McCree's "Mystery Man" and "Vigilante" skins are based on pulp detective heroes. The scarf covering his lower face is particularly reminiscent of The Shadow, while the Vigilant's yellow color scheme is inspired by Dick Tracy. Both skins have a few bonus lines specifically referencing The Shadow, including "I know the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. McCree always knows."
- In the French version, one of McCree's lines is "Viser la Lune, ça me fait pas peur"note , which is one of the first line of the chorus of "Ma philosophie" by Amel Bent. Another of McCree's French lines has him saying he shoots faster than his shadow, quoting Lucky Luke.
- In the Italian version, one of McCree's taunts roughly translates to "Go ahead, make my day," the memetic Dirty Harry line from Sudden Impact.
- McCree's interaction with Sombra has him insist that his name isn't Joel, a possible nod to the well known western actor Joel McCrea.
- McCree's holiday skin serves as a shout-out to Scrooge from A Christmas Carol.
- "Boom goes the dynamite," his voice line from the 2017 Summer Games event, references Brian Collins and his commentary from an infamous student video.
- One of McCree's rare pre-match lines in Horizon Lunar Colony is "See you, space cowboy," a recurring line in Cowboy Bebop
- A McCree elimination line, "And the gunslinger followed," references the famous first line of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.
- McCree's belt infamously reads "BAMF," referencing Jules' wallet inscribed with "Bad-Ass Mother Fucker" in Pulp Fiction. Amusingly, other skins play with the acronym too; his Scrooge skin's belt reads GAMF, presumably for Grumpy or Greedy-Ass Mother Fucker, while his Lifeguard skin's belt reads SAMF, which could either mean Sandy-Ass Mother Fucker or Safe-Ass Mother Fucker.
- His Anniversary dance emote is the Electric Slide Line Dance.
- One of his Anniversary voice lines has him saying that he likes both kinds of music, country and western.
- One of his Halloween voice lines is "You are already dead."
- One of her unlockable voice lines is "You have to let it go," referencing the break-out song from Frozen.
- Her Earthen skin bears more than a passing resemblance to something a citizen of the Earth Kingdom would wear in Avatar: The Last Airbender (Of course, she already dresses like a citizen of the Water Tribe).
- If she's teamed up with Winston, she will compare him to Sun Wukong, the Monkey King and one of the protagonists of the Chinese epoch Journey to the West. This came full circle with the Year of the Rooster event, where one of Winston's unlockable skins is Sun Wukong.
- One of her Chinese New Year event skins is "Chang'e", named after the Goddess of the Moon in Chinese Mythology. Even Snowball is dressed up with little rabbit ears.
- She has a line saying "Those astronauts never found me!", possibly referencing a conversation between Houston command and Michael Collins during the Apollo 11 mission, where he was jokingly asked to keep an eye out for Chang'e and her bunny while on the moon.
- Her Omnic Uprising voice line is "I'm going to have to science the heck out of this!"
- Her Anniversary Dance emote is the Hare Hare Yukai dance.
- While out of the game itself, just after the release of Rise and Shine, an artist on the cinematic team made and shared several posters of Mei's appearance in the short, framed in the style of this poster for◊ The Martian.
- Her Jiangshi skin gives her Blush Stickers like Hsien-Ko has.
- Pharah's Mechaqueen skin is a reference to Justice from Guilty Gear. Yes, this means Justice can rain from above.
- One of her unlockable voice lines is "Fly like an Egyptian," a reference to The Bangles hit single "Walk Like an Egyptian."
- One of her cut voice lines has her asking "You want me to morph into a ball?" This is a reference to Samus' ability to do the same in Metroid.
- An unlockable voice line of hers is "Dead or alive, you're coming with me."
- Her "Play nice, play Pharah" line is a reference to Blizzard Entertainment's "Play nice, play fair" ethos as part of their mission statement.
- Reaper holds his guns the same way Agent 47 of Hitman does in promotional material. He also holds his guns similarly to how Maltheal holds his sickles in DiabloIII
- Aside from his skull motifs, he appears to have been named after another special forces operative considered highly dangerous, who turned nihilistic and strange after being discharged, and also speaks with a stoic deadpan (save bursts of manic psychopathy when eliminating the enemy), from Jagged Alliance 2.
- Reaper's ultimate is the Death Blossom from The Last Starfighter in both name and form.
- One of his unlockable voice lines is "I'm not a psychopath. I'm a high-functioning psychopath." This is a riff on the line "I'm not a psychopath. I'm a high-functioning sociopath, from Sherlock.
- Another one of his voice lines is "I'm back in black," quoting the hit single of the same name by AC/DC.
- Additionally, his line "If it lives, I can kill it," is likely a reference to the line "If it bleeds, we can kill it," from Predator.
- One of his legendary skins is a black and purple costume with a bird-like mask called "Nevermore," a reference to The Raven. He will also deliver the famous line if he gets a kill in this skin and its Palette Swap, "Plague Doctor."
- His shotguns with those skins read "CRW-ND" written on them, which might be a portmanteau of "crow" and the slang term "owned," but it also might be a reference to a fan term from Left 4 Dead. "Cr0wning" is a method of one-shot-killing Witches before they go berserk with a single, carefully-placed point-blank shotgun blast to the head.
- Reaper's "Mariachi" skin is likely a reference to the El Mariachi films.
- Before they were removed in Ver 1.12, whenever Reaper scored a kill, his victim would leaves behind a crimson, spherical, swirling soul, reminiscent of their depiction in Soul Eater.
- His "Pumpkin" skin is a reference to both the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow and The Grim Reaper of folklore.
- His Summer Game's voice line, "It's in the refrigerator" is a reference to a line spoken by sportscaster Chick Hearn during a Lakers vs Kings NBA game in the 1987-88 season. The line is there, in full, in the game's code, and can be found here.
- His "Dracula" skin takes many cues from the Castlevania version of the character.
- One of his sprays is a riff on the "Keep Calm and Carry On" propaganda posters that have become a cultural meme.
- His "Soldier: 24" skin, while already a reference to Soldier: 76's Strike Commander Morrison skin, can call to mind Albert Wesker and David Xanatos.
- His "American Hero" spray is clearly a reference to G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Likewise, his Venom Soldier:76 skin is a clear reference to Cobra.
- One of his unlockable lines is "Smells like victory." Additionally, one of his ult elimination lines is "I love the smell of pulse munitions in the morning." Both lines reference Col. Kilgore's lines, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" and "Smells like victory" from Apocalypse Now.
- Another is "Old soldiers never die, and they don't fade away," defying a famous quote of Douglas MacArthur.
- A third line is "I'm the one who does his job. I'm thinkin' you're the other one," which is a paraphrase of a line from The Departed.
- Soldier: 76's "Immortal" skin is a Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Parody, being a zombified Soldier wearing a similar red jacket to Michael's.
- His Daredevil: 76 and Stunt Rider: 76 skins are blatant references to Evel Knievel. One of his skin-exclusive respawn lines, "Bones heal, pain is temporary, scars look good" is almost identical to Knievel's "Bones heal, chicks dig scars, pain is temporary, glory is forever."
- One of his character specific achievements is called "Rocket Man," a song by Elton John.
- The 'Grillmaster: 76' skin makes the Biotic Field a can of soda with the barcode number "0118 999 881 999 119 725 3," referencing a Running Gag for a new emergency services telephone number in The IT Crowd.
- His Slasher skin makes him look like Jason Voorhees.
- One of his anniversary voice lines is "I've died a hero, and lived long enough to become the villain."
- One of Sombra's abilities is Thermoptic Camo, which turns her invisible, referencing the similar camouflage technology of the same name in Ghost in the Shell.
- Sombra's other ability is a teleportation device which is shoot in a wide arc, bounces on walls and gets her to otherwise unreachable places. Its name? The Translocator.
- One of her sprays is called "Deaf-Mute," which depicts the kid from the cinematic trailer with his face obscured by her signature skull logo. This is a reference to Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
- Two of Sombra's unlockable voice lines are taken from the film Hackers, "Hack the planet," (which is also the name of one of her achievements) and "Mess with the best, die like the rest."
- If she kills an enemy with a melee attack, she may possibly quip "I know Kung Fu," quoting a line from The Matrix.
- One of Sombra's death animations has her strike a frozen in-pain pose while flashing colors, nearly identical to this scene from TRON.
- Her dance emote is based on shuffle dancing performed by Elena Cruz as seen here.
- Symmetra's comic has her teleportation accompanied by the visual effect "BAMF".
- The achievement for teleporting 20 players in one game is "Huge Success".
- Symmetra's "Oasis" skin is incredibly reminiscent of a piece of headgear Lotus is wearing, down to having a very similar symbol on the forehead. Its shape and the fact that it covers Symmetra's eyes is also very similar to the helmet that Nisha of The Disciples wears.note
- Her Dragon skin added with Halloween 2017 is based on Deathwing and/or a tiefling.
- Her Magician skin brings to mind Zatanna, Mistress of Magic.
- His Ultimate is called "Molten Core."
- An achievement for killing a large number of the enemy team with his ultimate is called "Raid Wipe", another reference to the Molten Core raid.
- When Torbjörn gets a kill using his hammer, he'll say "Hammer time!" This is a lyric from "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.
- One of his unlockable voice lines is "I'm giving it all I've got!" a paraphrase of a line made famous by Scotty from Star Trek: The Original Series.
- One of Torbjörn's sprays is titled "Catch a Ride," and featuring a reclining sexualized woman, just like the background logo associated with a certain mechanic from another colorful shooter game who just happens to have that as his Catchphrase.
- Another one of Torbjörn's sprays, specifically called "Chef," features him looking like the Swedish Chef.
- Two of his sprays look uncannily like the assembly guides from IKEA, the Swedish furniture outlet. The hardware in his "Smält" spray has a black and orange design that looks similar to the store's FIXA line of hardware. Perhaps less intentionally, they also sell a swivel chair named TORBJÖRN.
- One of his lines is "Everything is awesome!"
- Torbjörn's Dance emote is inspired by the Mario dance from The Super Mario Bros Super Show!.
- The "Magni Bronzebeard Torbjörn" skin is based on... King Magni Bronzebeard from World of Warcraft.
- Torbjörn's voice line for the Year of the Dog event, "Everyone, get in here," is a line from Grim Patron, a dwarf card from Hearthstone.
- Tracer trying to get the floppy bit of hair drooping across her forehead by blowing on it is a direct reference to Quentin Quail's attempts to do the same thing in old Looney Tunes cartoons.
- Two of her skins are called "Posh" and "Sporty," members of the British female pop group Spice Girls.
- If selected while wearing her T. Racer or Mach.T skins, she will announce "Here comes T.Racer!" This is a riff on the theme song of Speed Racer.
- One of her character specific achievements is titled "Total Recall," a reference to the film Total Recall.
- One of her voice lines is "Keep calm and Tracer on!" This is a reference to the British WW2 "Keep Calm and Carry On" propaganda posters that became a cultural meme.
- Tracer does several steps from the Charleston as her anniversary dance.
- Widowmaker's "Huntress" skin resembles other pale French Lacroix.
- Two of Widowmaker's legendary skins are ballet outfits themed after a white swan and a black swan, a reference to Swan Lake.
- The "Nova Widowmaker" skin almost completely recreates Nova's appearance from Starcraft II. This can also be seen as a recursive Crossover brought on by Heroes of the Storm where the situation is reversed (Nova is a playable character, and one of her skins in that game is of Widowmaker)
- During the Starcraft 20th Anniversary celebrations (which spanned multiple games), Widowmaker got a second skin based around Kerrigan in her Ghost attire, unlocked immediately for people who started up Overwatch during the celebrations.
Tank Hero Shout-Outs
- D.Va has a Blizzard logo decaled on her jumpsuit's right leg.
- Her jumpsuit is also a reference to the plugsuits from Neon Genesis Evangelion. The chunky wristbands on the gloves, the pauldrons on the shoulders, and the matching hair clips are a dead giveaway, to the point she could pass as a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Asuka. Hell, her codename could be a direct reference to Evangelion; just swap out the "D" with an "E".
- Her B.Va skin is a reference to Bumblebee from Transformers.
- One of her skin-exclusive respawn lines with her Junker and Scavenger skins is "You hear me baby? Hold together!"
- If she gets revenge on an enemy with the Junker and Scavenger skins, she might leave a Bond One-Liner in "Remember me?", referencing to Furiosa's Pre-Mortem One-Liner to Immortan Joe.
- When teamed up with Winston, she may comment "just like in those old video games!", a nod to Donkey Kong.
- If she's on fire, she might shout "Boomshakalaka! She's on fire!"
- In the French version of the game, one of D.Va's taunt reference the infamous "Sega, c'est plus fort que toi"note series of ads for the Master System.
- In her "Game On" taunt, the bottom left corner of her screen shows that she has over 9000 donations.
- One of her voice lines is "Here comes a new challenger!"
- Getting an epic vote after a match may prompt her to go "Ding!"
- D.Va's "Officer" skin redesigns her mecha to look similar to the ED-209. In addition, her officer outfit, combined with her rabbit motif, hearkens to Officer Judy Hopps. It helps that her officer spray is in the exact same pose as Judy from the promo materials.
- Her Dance emote is from the dance-off in the Robot Chicken sketch "Voltron Got Served".
- In one interaction with Sombra, D.Va says she hears Sombra is a "master of unlocking." Sombra responds with confusion.
- Orisa has a skin called Twilight, featuring a purple color with pink highlights, which match the coloration◊ of Twilight Sparkle. It helps that she also features a quadruped design and has notable marks on her flanks present in all her skins that look perfectly like cutie marks.
- One of her unlockable voicelines is "I'm sorry, but I can't do that."
- Another one of her unlockable voicelines is "Are you satisfied with your protection?"
- Her Pumpkin Head Halloween victory pose brings to mind the Headless Horseman
- "Immortal Orisa" is directly based on an Immortal Protoss unit from Starcraft II.
- There are a few conversations between Lúcio and Reinhardt that has the latter criticizing the former's taste in music, with Reinhardt saying that he prefers "the classics, like Hasselhoff", even citing his 1985 album Night Rocker.
- His "Lionhardt" skin is likely a reference to the historical King Richard I, who was a central figure in The Crusades and was known for being a military badass and a pious hero. Richard was sometimes called "Richard the Lionheart".
- The "Lionhardt" also brings to mind certain armor sets from the Alliance.
- One of his trophies, won by combining his Earthshatter, Fire Strike and Charge, is called "Storm, Earth and Fire". It's a reference to a band of Blizzard employees who worked on Warcraft 3 known as "The Tauren Chieftains". Their song, "Power of the Horde", opens with the line "Storm, earth, and fire, heed my call."
- Reinhardt's Dance emote has him waltzing with his hammer, like Gene Kelly dancing with a mop in Thousands Cheer.
- The way Roadhog shouts "Come here!" when pulling someone with his hook brings Scorpion to mind.
- His name in the French version of the game "Chopper", which pretty much mean "Swiper". So one of his respawn lines is "Swiper wants to swipe."
- His Anniversary dance emote is hip hop dance the Cabbage Patch
- His "Ice Fisherman" skin has a Murloc skeleton on his right shoulder.
- The "Butcher Roadhog" skin bases his appearance on none other than The Butcher from Diablo.
- His "Eyes" spray shows his mask in the style of a Bad Piggy.
- An inevitable one can be spoken if Yeti Winston spawns on the Nepal map:Yeti Winston: Welcome to the Himalayas!
- Furthering the reference, another of the skin's lines has him offering snowcones, which he assures us are lemon-flavored.
- Winston - an intelligent, caring, philosophical gorilla who can rage out and fight, if need be - has his ultimate named Primal Rage. He most resembles Blizzard from that game, who - besides ice powers - had the same personality as he did in the novel. This is further echoed by the Yeti skin that can be unlocked for him during the Winter Wonderland event, which greatly resembles Blizzard due to the white fur and bluish skin both possess.
- One of Yeti Winston's lines has him point out that yetis bounce.
- His Anniversary dance is "The Twist," made famous by Chubby Checker, referencing Winston's physique.
- He appears to be based on Monday Night Combat's Cheston - upper-crust-accented, cultured, and intelligent uplifted gorillas with glasses who did much for the rest of the uplifted gorilla community, with a power based on going berserk and an emphasis on close quarters combat.
- When looking out at the Earth from the Horizon Lunar Colony, Winston is sometimes inspired to recite the "Pale Blue Dot" speech from Cosmos.
- Hammond's character design was specifically influenced by other hamsters in western and eastern media. Blizzard's artists list Hamtaro by name, as well as the hamsters that show up in Zootopia and Bolt
- His "Pilot" spray shows Hammond doing a Badass Arm-Fold while sitting inside his escape pod, as the pod opens up after he just landed on Earth. This is a reference to Dragon Ball Z, specifically when Vegeta first arrives on Earth, and his escape pod opens up to show him doing the same pose. Both escape pods show very similar designs as well.
- His "Hoard" spray is a reference to Hamtaro, showing Hammond sitting with his feet up on a pile of sunflower seeds with a green leaf on his head and a Cat Smile on his face.
- The "Hamster Ball" spray shows Hammond spinning in a ball like Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Another spray shows Hammond transforming from a normal hamster to his current self similar to early comic iterations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- The "Peace" victory pose is a direct reference to D.Va's "Laying Around" pose, Bubblegum Popping and V-Sign included.
- Richard Hammond, aka "The Hamster", anyone?
- His "Dramatic" highlight intro has him look to the camera like the Dramatic Chipmunk meme, complete with the actual music from said meme.
- His dance emote is just called the Hampster Dance.
- His selection quote is a direct reference to Neil deGrasse Tyson.Sigma: "There is no obligation for the universe to make sense to you".
- When looking through the telescope on Horizon Lunar Colony, Sigma will quote Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami or Carl Sagan.Sigma: "Beyond the edge of the world there's a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard."Sigma: "The stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching us.Sigma: "By looking far out into space, we are also looking far back into time, back toward the horizon of the universe."
- On killing Zenyatta, Zarya can quip "Never trust an Omnic!", a reference to The Lord of the Rings about the dwarven Gimli and also a racist human commander from Warcraft, Garithos, "Never trust an Elf!". Ironically, for being similar to a dwarf and having probably even stronger Omnic distrust, Torbjörn doesn't say this.
- One of Zarya's post-kill lines is "From Russia with love!"
- One of Zarya's pre-game lines while spawning in Volskaya Industries is a long excerpt from The Cherry Orchard, delivered in Russian.
- Another, more rare but equally as long pre-battle line directly comes from Kidnapping, Caucasian Style.
- One of Zarya's voicelines is "In Russia, game plays you."
- Another one of her voicelines is "I will break you."
- Zarya's dance emote from the Anniversary event is a reference to the opening of the 1988 Crystal Light Aerobic Championship. It also doubles as a reference to Team Fortress 2's Mannrobics, as Zarya does the exact same dance the Soldier and Heavy performs during Mannrobics.
- Her voice line from the 2017 Summer Games ("It's only a game. Why do you have to be mad?") is a quote from Russian hockey player Ilya Bryzgalov.
- Her "Totally 80s" skin not only references the various hair metal bands of the age, but the phrase on her shirt reads "Let's Get Physical", a reference to Olivia Newton-John.
- Two skin-specific lines also reference 80s pop-culture:
- "Barbarian Zarya" directly lifts her appearance from a Barbarian class from Diablo, specifically Sonya of Harrogath.
- Her "Fitness Secret" voice line added in the Anniversary 2019 event is "My secret? Push-ups, and sit-ups, and plenty of juice."
- Her Summer Games 2019 quote is "I am the strongest woman in the world," which is a direct reference to Chun-Li's original winquote from Street Fighter II.
Support Hero Shout-Outs
- One of Ana's lines is "Witness me". Perhaps she's a fan of Mad Max: Fury Road? Her design in general, especially her "Wadjet" and "Wasteland" skins, would fit right in with the Vuvalini.
- Her Anniversary voice line is "Follow me if you want to live."
- Another of her lines is "You know nothing."
- His "One Up" spray has him jump-posing like Mario.
- His "Too Powerful" spray has him crushing his scouter in the same way as Vegeta.
- His "Survival Tip" voice line is "Come with me if you want to live."
- One of Brigitte's Anniversary voice line is "It's just a flesh wound"
- Her dance emote is a reference to the Swedish Women's Handball team performing a dance.
- Her Summer Game line "Dare to Lindholm" is a reference to a series of Nike commercial "Dare to Zlatan" starring Swedish association football player Zlatan Ibrahimović.
- Her other Summer Game line "Scandinavian style? No, it has to be Lindholm style" is another Zlatan shout-out.
- Her "Toast" victory pose shows her holding a cat-shaped mug. The mug has a tiny little jetpack on the back, a nod to the infamous Jetpack Cat that was toyed as a character idea in the game's early development.
- One of Lúcio's unlockable voice lines is "You gotta believe!"
- Fan of the series have pointed out that Lúcio is likely a direct reference to another video game, Jet Set Radio, as quite a few key elements from the game are present in him. Roller blades, awesome music, agile movements... Some of his sprays can even qualify for Jet Set Radio tags!.
- His "Ribbit" and "Hippityhop" skins resemble a frog-themed take on deadmau5's signature logo/helmet.
- His "Breakaway" skin are the colors of the real life LA Kings hockey team, and the number on the pants is that of Wayne Gretzky.
- On his album "Synaesthesia Auditiva", one of the songs listed on the back cover is titled "Robot After All", a take on Human After All by electronic music duo Daft Punk.
- Classic Mercy's wings resemble Tyrael's.
- Mercy's dance emote is the classic 1975 dance "The Hustle".
- One of her Anniversary lines is, "Someone call the Whambulance!"
- Moira's powers, gold light for healing and black shadow for damage dealing, call to mind World of Warcraft Priests who use Light and Shadow magic for the same purposes.
- Moira's basic character design looks inspired by David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" persona. Tall, slim, spiky red hair, and markings over her left eye. Her "Glam" skin is a direct reference to Ziggy Stardust.
- Geneticist who joins up with dark political forces in order to push the boundaries of human capabilities? Are we talking about Brigid Tenenbaum or Moira? The only difference is Brigid did a HeelFace Turn.
- A stoic, masked Mad Scientist with a fixation on advancing scientific progress by any means necessary, and is willing to perform experiments on anyone they deem interesting, giving no regards to what they have to say about the experiment itself or being a part of it. Are we talking about Moira, or Relius Clover?
- Moira's sprays and animations feature multiple references to classic anime.
- Her "Self-Experimentation" spray references the iconic scene in AKIRA in which Tetsuo's right arm begins to grow out of control.
- Her "Plotting" spray references the iconic Gendo Pose.
- Her "Fade" spray, and her running animation, both emulate the Naruto Run.
- "Power Level" shows her activating her Kamehame Hadoken ultimate.
- The positioning of her "Face Palm" spray is a reference to the Picard Facepalm.
- Moira's 2017 Holiday spray features her dressed in a black Santa outfit, leaning on a chimney she's going down. The image bears similarities to the Grinch descending down a chimney.
- One of her anniversary voice lines is "This was a triumph" - the opening line of the ending song from the first game of Valve's Portal series, where overtly nonsensical science for science's sake is a recurring vein of comedy.
- Another anniversary line, "Good news, everyone," is a reference to fellow mad scientist Professor Farnsworth from Futurama.
- When combined, Zenyatta and his brother Tekhartha Mondatta's names are a reference to a Police album named Zenyatta Mondatta.
- Zenyatta's line while interacting with the telescope on the Horizon Lunar Colony is "The damage doesnt look as bad from out here."
- Zenyatta's "Cultist" skin makes him look like a Cthulhumanoid, specifically a mind flayer from Dungeons And Dragons.
- When loading the tutorial level, eagle-eyed metalheads can catch a glimpse of some painted words reading "Hangar 18".
- The expendable training bots from the Practice Range should bring to mind Claptrap units from the Borderlands series, who not only look share similar design silhouettes, but even have very similar voices.
- Rikimaru's Ramen is a prominent establishment on the Hanamura map. Their Mascot is a cartoony Murloc that makes familiar sounding growls when you shoot it. A Murloc also appears spray-painted onto the attack-side spawn in Temple of Anubis, and will also growl if you shoot at it.
- On Hanamura, there are arcade cabinets where one of the teams starts out; Siege Mode III, Fighters Of The Storm I and II, Soulstone Demon Slayer, and The Lost Vikings VInote .
- The "16-Bit Hero" marquee over the Hanamura arcade bears a resemblance to the logo of "Taito Station", a chain of arcades in Japan. The character itself resembles Jim Raynor.
- Hollywood has a few movie posters referencing existing works, including Hero of My Storm and Some Like it Bot. There's also Six Gun Killer, which may be a reference to Six-Shooter from the Puppet Master series in both name and general design.
- There's also a poster in the Winter version of King's Row of a movie called Love Hacktually. The actress on the poster also bears a resemblance to voice actress and renowned Overwatch megafan Erin Fitzgerald.
- Hal-Fred Glitchbot, the occupant of the payload, may occasionally comment that "Jesse McCree" is "a terrible name for a cowboy!"
- In the Route 66 attack spawn room, there's a comic on the counter named Craft from the Stars with illustrations of a Terran Marine, a Protoss, and Kerrigan. There's also an advertisement for Diableaux hot sauce that's "hot as the burning hells", and a check signed by Deckard Cain that's dated for Diablo III's original release date. One shop has several signs informing you that they sell "Propane and Propane Accessories."
- In one of the levels in Illios, Greece, there's a bottomless well in the middle for no explicable reason. To hammer the point home, this map received a weekly brawl featuring Lúcio and Roadhog (both having abilities that allow them to easily knock opponents into said pit) named "This is Illios".
- The Eichenwalde map has some similarities to Dark Souls- a ruined, perilous castle that's been overtaken by growth, with a sense of melancholy over it. Blizzard seems to know this, as players can find a bonfire with a sword stuck in it.
- The guitar store in Eichenwald called Die Zaubertröte (The Magic Horn) is a reference to Die Zauberflöte, a German opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- The cafe in Eichenwald sells a meal called "Kosakezipfel," a reference to a fictional dessert called "Kosakenzipfel" (translating to "Cossack's tip/point/tail") from a famous comedy sketch by Loriot.
- In Ecopoint: Antarctica, there are 2 references to The Thing (1982): An inaccessible area viewable through a window shows a large ice block,◊ similar to the one the alien itself was found in.◊ Additionally, one of the cryogenic stasis capsules shows one of the former crew members was named "MacReady."
- The setting for the Hollywood map is Goldshire Studios, named after a town within World of Warcraft. Its logo is the Alliance shield (which features a lion's head, making it a cross-Shout-Out to MGM).
- In Dorado, there's a cute piñata version of Diablo hanging around. It's the same one Soldier: 76 uses in "Hero" to repeatedly smash a thug's head in with.
- The tents in the Dorado marketplace have heart-shaped emblems reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts.
- The "Village" portion of Nepal has a shop called "Ravenwood's Tavern," very likely a reference to Marion Ravenwood from Indiana Jones, who owns a tavern called "The Raven."
- A board in the Horizon Lunar Colony map lists the names of some of the gorilla subjects (a clearer version can be seen here), two of which are "Susan" and "Calvin". Seems at least one of the scientists read Asimov...
- Junkertown is most likely a reference to Junktown from Fallout.
- The first defending spawn room on Junkertown is Wolfwood's Pub.
- The second defending spawn room in Junkertown features two Mini-Mecha, one called "Kelvin 506", which is equivalent to Fahrenheit 451.
- The poster advertising an alien movie in Hollywood says it's being shot in "Kilrogg 3D vision". Kilrogg Deadeye is an orc in the Warcraft series. Humorously, Kilrogg only has one eye.
- The entire purpose of Blizzard World is a theme park dedicated to all of Blizzard's other franchises except Overwatch itself. Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, Heroes of the Storm, Hearth Stone, and even The Lost Vikings.
- Blizzard World contains a nested reference: the poses being struck on the "Lost and Found Vikings" sign are similar to some from the "Confused Travolta" meme from Pulp Fiction.
- There's a Nexus portal in the art museum in Rialto.
- In Busan, there's a tea shop whose hangul reads its name to be◊ "Dalaran".
- In one of the spawn rooms is a Dance Dance Revolution-style arcade game simply titled "Dance Floor". It even tracks your movements like an actual DDR machine!
- The Gunslinger mimics Han Solo's skepticism from Star Wars: A New Hope.Han Solo: Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.
The Gunslinger: With all due respect, witchcraft and magic potions are no match for a good six shooter.
- Mercy's cosplay is dubbed "The Witch of the Wilds." Funny how she's not a raven haired shapeshifter or old crone Trickster Mentor.
- The cinematic trailer has the older of the two kids wearing a Raynor's Raiders hoodie, the younger kid with a Murloc drawn on the cast on his arm, and a security guard playing Hearthstone while a battle rages in the exhibit on the security screens behind him.
- Tracer and Winston together mirror the classic comic Angel and the Ape, with a partnership between an action girl and an extremely intelligent gorilla.
- The game features Weekly Brawls, variations of the game with special rules. Some of these are Super Shimada Bros (Hanzo and Genji only) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (McCree, Reaper and Roadhog only).
- In the Are You With Us? video there is a dead robot with two children that appears for a split second. The words household robot and Hana (flower) are written in Japanese in its body and arm respectively. They killed Rosie!
- The "Hero" trailer involves a Hispanic street gang named 'Los Muertos' being taken down by a super soldier, a premise that may remind you of another game.
- In "Infiltration" video, Sombra says Boop to Mrs. Volskaya? That was actually shoutout to Nora Valkyrie.
- The 2017 Chinese New Year event features a set of skins based on Journey to the West, with Winston as Sun Wukong, Zenyatta as Tang Sanzang, Roadhog as Zhu Bajie, and Reinhardt as Sha Wujing.
- In "Masquerade" Reaper dresses as the Red Death, evoking both the Poe short story and another masked psychopath who used it for costume inspiration.
- In Junkertown: The Plan, the intro sequence for the short is a partway recreation of the opening to Cowboy Bebop, complete with instruments off the outback such as a didgeridoo.
- In the same short, Junkrat repeatedly running through the plan but altering the details with increasing speed appears to be one to a similar scene in Shaun of the Dead.
- Mei has a Murky The Murloc coffee mug in Rise & Shine.
- Talon's council gathering greatly resembles those of SPECTRE.