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Shout Out / Ready Player One (2018)

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Given the kind of movie this is, it's more than a given that it's going to be filled to the brim with an absolutely ridiculous number of cameos, shout-outs, and references to a bunch of other pop culture works. It's practically Shout Out: The Movie.

For the original novel, see here.

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    Anime & Manga References 
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The RX-78-2 Gundam appears and strikes the pose of the ZZ Gundam.
  • AKIRA: Art3mis uses a skin for her motorbike that has the same appearance as Kaneda's bike.
  • The Mach 5 from Speed Racer can be seen near the DeLorean.
  • The Swordfish from Cowboy Bebop can be seen in the background of Aech's workshop.
  • Voltron:
    • The final battle takes place on Planet Doom from Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
    • The Blue Lion from the original series is in the melee.
  • The story's conclusion, with Wade receiving full ownership and control of the OASIS from Halliday, its creator, in the form of a Golden Egg, is reminiscent of how Kirito receives the World Seed (also in the form of a golden egg) from Akihiko Kayaba, and with it, the power to create and modify virtual worlds, in the Alfheim Online Arc of Sword Art Online.
  • Hello Kitty avatars show up in both Wade's exposition about how you can be anyone in the OASIS, together with Keroppi and Badtz-Maru, and later in the Halliday Journals building after Parzival finds the first key. Art3mis also has a Hello Kitty decal on her bike.

    Comic Book References 

    Film References 
  • King Kong (1933) - King Kong appears early on during the race, being the final obstacle before the finish line.
  • Pinocchio (1940) - Several characters discuss the nature of reality and whether they are real or pretend.
  • Citizen Kane (1941) - "Rosebud" is mentioned.
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - Dialogue quoted: "No man is a failure who has friends."
  • The War of the Worlds (1953) - The first time Sorrento meets I-R0k in the Oasis, he emerges from the wreckage of one of the floating Martian spacecraft from the 1953 version of "War of the Worlds", complete with the authentic sound FX.
  • Seven Samurai (1954) - Daito kills a drone, wielding a bat like a sword and his real name is Toshiro, after Toshiro Mifune, the star of the Seven Samurai.
  • Godzilla (1954) - The theme from Godzilla is briefly woven into the score during the final battle.
  • Forbidden Planet (1956) - Robby the Robot can be seen in Samantha and Wade's apartment.
  • Sora no daikaijû Radon (1956) - Rodan is featured in the OASIS.
  • The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) - Cyclops avatar seen in battle royale.
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) - Halliday rises and speaks from a coffin in a manner similar to Criswell's introduction to the Ed Wood film.
  • Jason and the Argonauts (1963) - Skeletons seen as avatars in a battle royale.
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) - Two cars from this movie are seen in a virtual race.
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964) - The sound effect for the CRN-114 is used at one point in the film.
  • A Fistful of Dollars (1964) - Man with No Name is seen in the Oasis.
  • Speed Racer (1967) - The Mach 5 is in the race staging area.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - Aech has an EVA pod in her garage.
  • The French Connection (1971) - Part of the race for the Copper Key takes place below an elevated railway in New York City and is shot in a style similar to Friedkin's film.
  • Silent Running (1972) - Aech has a miniaturized Valley Forge in her garage.
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) - Gigan made its appearance in the final battle as it along with Mechagodzilla fight against Iron Giant, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) - Mecha Godzilla appears.
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) - You can see the famous flip stunt at the race.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) - The Holy Hand Grenade is used.
  • Death Race 2000 (1975) - The Death Race cars seen in virtual race.
  • Suspiria (1977) - Suzy Bannon is seen in the Oasis.
  • Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - Shoto's car, which he totals on his way to getting the Copper Key, is Burt Reynolds' Trans-Am from this film.
  • A New Hope (1977) - There are multiple references to this movie. When trying to recruit him, Sorrento offers Z the Millenium Falcon. Parizval's avatar is wearing Han's Solo's belt. R2-D2 can be seen at the very end in Wade and Sam's apartment. After Art3mis escapes captivity, she is on a mission to bring down the shield from inside the castle. She evades a passing group of troopers by climbing around a column over a death fall (in this case, lava). These are circumstances and scenes almost identical to Obi Wan's scene the original Star Wars.
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977) - In a nightclub in the Oasis, two characters start dancing the film's de facto theme song "Stayin' Alive" as they create a multi-colored light floor to dance on.
  • Animal House (1978) - Parzival mentions Faber College when trying to bluff Sorrento when mentioning John Hughes movies.
  • Superman: The Movie (1978) - Halliday's favorite quote is a Lex Luthor monologue from this movie.
  • Mad Max (1979) - Poster seen when Parzival changes outfits.
  • Alien (1979) - Art3mis uses the chestburster to play a prank on Parzival. She also fights with an Aliens pulse rifle in the dance club shootout.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) - Floral arrangements in the likeness of the Starfleet insignia and the starship Enterprise featured during Halliday's funeral scene.
  • Fatso (1980) - A character mentions this movie.
  • Friday the 13th series - Jason is seen as an avatar in a battle royale. It is the version of the character as seen in Mortal Kombat X.
  • The Shining (1980) - The characters travel inside a digital recreation of this film.
  • The Exterminator (1980) - The Exterminator is seen in the Oasis.
  • Excalibur (1981) - The spell used to control the Orb of Osuvox is The Charm of Making from Excalibur.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - A poster of this film can be seen in Halliday's childhood bedroom.
  • The Evil Dead (1981) - Ash can be seen during the final battle.
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) - Max's Interceptor is in the race staging area, and a film poster is seen.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) - In the broadcast of Halliday's will, he is shown in a funeral casket which is in fact a mock-up of the Mark VII photon torpedo which served as Spock's casket at the end of the movie. The Starfleet logo and USS Enterprise are also referenced.
  • Blade Runner (1982) - When Sorrento's rig is hacked by Aech both Parzival and Daito's eyes glow red like replicants.
  • The Thing (1982) - The alien from this movie shows up during the final battle of the movie.
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) - Z tries to trick Sorrento by referencing the high school from this movie.
  • The Beastmaster (1982) - Poster seen in Aech's room.
  • The Dark Crystal (1982) - The movie title is written on a visible notebook in the scene where Wade and Sam investigate how to acquire the crystal key. Also, Karen picks the pseudonym Kira in reference to this movie.
  • 2019: After the Fall of New York (1983) - Poster is seen in Halliday's childhood bedroom.
  • Krull (1983) - Sho uses The Glaive from Krull to sever I-R0k's arm. Also, the movie title is written on a visible notebook in the scene where Wade and Sam investigate how to acquire the crystal key.
  • Scarface (1983) - The VHS box is amongst all the loot that comes out of I-R0k.
  • Christine (1983) - Christine's in the race staging area.
  • Splash (1984) - The movie title is written on a visible notebook in the scene where Wade and Sam investigate how to acquire the crystal key.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - "The Temple of Doom" is written on a visible notebook in the scene where Wade and Sam investigate how to acquire the crystal key.
  • Firestarter (1984) - Among the movie posters of other films Halliday watched the week of his date.
  • Gremlins (1984) - The Orb of Ozuvox is being held in the same box in which the Mogwai is kept at the beginning of "Gremlins." Also, the movie title is written on a visible notebook in the scene where Wade and Sam investigate how to acquire the crystal key. Also, Spike, the leader Gremlin, is seen as one of the avatars as they charge in screaming "First to the Egg!" in the final fight.
  • The Last Starfighter (1984) - Wade lives in a run-down boring area, has no father, saves an alternate universe, meets the video game designer, and only excels at video games just like Alex.
  • Purple Rain (1984) - Wade is seen dressed as Prince's character.
  • Back to the Future (1985) - Parzival's vehicle of choice is Doc Brown's time traveling DeLorean. The Rubiks cube he buys from the market can set time back one minute and has a small Back To The Future main theme musical cue when activated. Additionally the Rubiks Cube is named the "Zimeckis Cube" after Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis.
  • Beetlejuice (1988) - The title character can be seen at the Archives after Parzival completes the first challenge.
  • Child's Play (1988) - Aech tosses Parzival an evil Chucky doll during the final battle who then attacks the Sixers and wins the dubious honor of the film's one PG-13 allocated Precision F-Strike.
  • At 1:36:43, The Wolfman from the 1941 film appears to try to attack Art3mis as she runs on the battlefield.

    Literature References 
  • Arthurian Legend: Parzival is the German rendering of the name Percival, the knight who finds the Holy Grail. Percival and the Holy Grail are both featured in the film, which is based off the Arthurian legend.
  • Gone: During the climax, I-R0k's avatar loses an arm, and in a later scene, it is replaced with a tentacle, much like what happened to Drake Merwin.
  • The Shining: The film adaptation is acknowledged as being based on the Stephen King novel, which he considered a Disowned Adaptation.

    Live-Action TV References 
  • The Batmobile from the 1960's Batman series can be seen in the first challenge.
  • KITT's red scanner bar from Knight Rider is mounted into the front of Parzival's DeLorean.
  • The Robot from Lost in Space can be seen as a toy that Halliday handles briefly while telling Parzival why he created the contest before giving him the Egg.
  • The van from The A-Team appears as one of the race vehicles in the first challenge.
  • Daito enters the final battle leaping out of Serenity.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978):
    • One of the weapons used by Parzival at the final gate is a Colonial Blaster.
    • In Aech's Garage, not only does he have a Battlestar Galactica model in the Fraggle Rock lunch box, but he also has a full-size Cylon Raider hanging on a wall and a Colonial Viper as well in the background in one shot.
  • The Gundam's time limit comes from Ultraman, whose rights could not be acquired for the movie.
  • The TARDIS from Doctor Who is visible in Aech's workshop.
  • A Klingon Bat'leth is sitting on a stand next to the window in the final scene.
  • A figure with a protrusion on its head appears to be a Demogorgon. It is seen fighting an IOI soldier at approximately 1:36:45
  • A sticker with the 「中」 symbol of The Greatest American Hero appears on one of the earphones of the VR goggles that Wade uses in Helen's van.
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    Music References 
  • Diminishing their relevance considerably from the book plot, a Rush poster can be seen in Halliday's bedroom near the end of the movie. Helen also wears a shirt with a Rush design in the real world.
  • Before the nightclub scene, Parzival is trying on outfits to impress Art3mis. Pop goes the Michael Jackson reference, when he briefly does a bit of the Thriller dance in Michael's iconic red outfit from the video. Not to mention a brief Prince outfit a la Purple Rain, a jacket for the Dead Kennedys when switching to a punk style, and a New Romantic three-piece suit for which he even namedrops Duran Duran.
  • Bartenders at the Distracted Globe club wear a red "energy dome" hat like the ones worn by Devo. One of them even has "Devo" written on their chest.
  • Samantha's first outfit we see involves a Joy Division Unknown Pleasures shirt.

    Tabletop Game References 
  • The infamous Emerald Demon Mouth of the Tomb of Horrors is stenciled onto the rear of Aech's van.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons logo can be seen when Parzival is shopping.
  • During the impassioned speech near the end, He makes a reference to Goldmines of Gygax.
  • An Eldar warrior from Warhammer 40,000 can be seen during the final battle.
  • A twenty sided die appears multiple times; the Orb of Osuvox is one inside a crystal ball, and the rig Wade uses at the end has two d20 decals on it.

    Video Game References 
  • To Street Fighter:
    • Many characters can be seen everywhere in the movie, such as Ryu walking between the vehicles before the start of the race, and Blanka dancing with Chun-Li at the Distracted Globe. Chun-Li and E. Honda are also fighting for the Artifact early in the story. They later take part in the final battle on Planet Doom.
    • Parzival's absolutely epic HADOUKEN! to Sorrento's avatar in the final confrontation. Also, the Groin Attack after that is executed in a manner very similar to Guile's Flash Kick.
  • Overwatch: Tracer is a prominent foreground character, and is one of the leaders in the final battle. Reaper can also be spotted in Halliday's archives.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Harley Quinn, in her outfit from Batman: Arkham Knight, is one of the guests intimidated by I-R0k at the Distracted Globe.
    • The Joker can also be spotted in the club.
    • Arkham Knight, the titular villain himself, is seen exiting the Halliday Journals building just before a crowd greets Parzival inside.
  • Right after the Arkham Knight appearance, Injustice 2's version of Supergirl can be seen and heard gasping in surprise upon spotting Parzival.
  • BattleBorn characters Miko, Attikus, Montana, Ambra, El Dragon, Shayne, Aurox, and Benedict can be seen in the background of various scenes.
  • The Battletoads, Rash, Zitz and Pimple, can be spotted in the beginning scenes, at The Distracted Globe nightclub, and are part of the vanguard in the final battle. Here, they appear in their Killer Instinct reboot forms.
  • Halo:
    • In the final battle, one of the first to show up to assist is a squad of SPARTAN-II.
    • A number of Halo weapons, including the MA5B Assault Rifle and SPNKR Missile Launcher, were also used by the main heroes as well.
  • Several Atari 2600 games are seen and referenced directly by name, such as Joust, Centipede, Adventure, Pitfall and Swordquest.
  • Minecraft World is one of the worlds in the OASIS shown at the start.
  • Near the start of the film, Aech can be seen destroying his way through a number of enemies hunting for an Artifact, including Duke Nukem.
    • The extra Railgun tossed to Parzival in the final battle is straight out of Duke Nukem Forever.
    • Also, Duke's iconic 1911 handguns with the nuke symbols on their grips can be see when i-R0k meets Sorrento to give him the Orb of Osuvox.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog can be seen near the beginning. He also attends to the final battle, performing a Homing Attack.
  • To Mortal Kombat:
    • After Parzival nabs the Copper/First Key, he goes to the Halliday Journals and gets mobbed by a number of avatars. Out of nowhere Goro pops out and drags him away. After it's revealed that it's actually a disguise Art3mis is wearing, she starts telling him that he's famous now and can't just go around everywhere without a disguise. And while the Chestburster that emerged from Goro is more of a shout-out to the Alien franchise, it also doubles as a reference to Mortal Kombat X, where the Xenomorph was a Guest Fighter.
    • Toshiro wears a Mortal Kombat pin.
    • Statues of several other Mortal Kombat characters are in the shrine with the Golden Egg, along with those shaped like the dragon from the series logo.
    • Kitana from Mortal Kombat (2011) is one of the avatars that Aech takes out before taking out Duke Nukem at the start of the film.
    • As the final battle begins, the camera cuts right through the middle of the action. Right after Sonic performs a homing attack on an IOI soldier, Scorpion is briefly seen delivering a roundhouse kick to another IOI soldier's head.
    • Though they are film characters, the versions of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees used in the film are from the Netherrealm Mortal Kombat games. The version of Freddy that was used is from Mortal Kombat (2011) DLC and the mobile version of Mortal Kombat X, where he had dual gloves, and is the first one taken out by Aech before he takes out Kitana and Duke Nukem. The version of Jason used is from the regular version of Mortal Kombat X. He is taken out by Sho and Daito at the start of the film and can be seen as one of the avatars taken out by the Cataclyst.
  • Near the end of the movie, the gang is in Helen's van and being chased by IOI, and Wade complains why there's so much thrashing around...
    Helen: Just practicing my Mario Kart!
  • The avatar used by Rick, Wade's aunt's boyfriend, is James Raynor, Hero Protagonist of StarCraft, dressed in his "Stars and Stripes" Space Marine armor from Blizzard Entertainment's Mascot Fighter MOBA Heroes of the Storm.
  • There are references to some classic arcade games made by Midway Games, including Defender, Robotron: 2084, and Joust. Sorrento offers the ship from the former as a bonus if Wade joins IOI, and some enemies from the latter are seen on Planet Doom at the start of the film.
  • Art3Mis pulls out a Lancer rifle from the Gears of War series to fight I-R0k during the final assault on the castle.
  • Lara Croft can be seen at several points in the movie, including during the final battle.
  • Aech's van has the words "Sinistar Lives" graffiti'd on the left side.
  • A Borderlands logo can be seen during Parzival's shopping spree. Beneath it is what appears to be Claptrap.
  • It might be the lowest-key shoutout of the bunch, but the tattooed guy who kidnaps Wade to bring him to Samantha's hideout might have drawn inspiration from a similar tattoo on one Garrus Vakarian.
  • A background character can be seen in the background performing the Aether technique on a IOI soldier in the background.
  • A Warcraft orc can be seen off to the right when we first see Wade's avatar. Another one is during the Battle of Planet Doom, if one watches closely as the two armies collied there is an Orc who looks suspiciously similar to Grommash Hellscream wielding his trademark axe being one of the first to fight and taking down multiple sixers all in one swing and less than 10 seconds of screen time.
  • Tekken: In the final confrontation with Sorrento, Parzival uses a one-two punch into flip kick attack. This, combined with Parizal's silver hair and hair style, makes him strongly resemble the character Lee Chaolan for a few moments.
  • Not a confirmed shout out, but Cinema Wins compared the stacks blowing up to the Sector 7 plate being dropped.
  • Hallyday is often seen wearing a Space Invaders T-shirt. His younger self at the end of the movie wears one too. Invaders stencils are briefly seen in other areas of real life.

    Web Original References 
  • Ruby Rose of RWBY drops in during the final battle, wielding her trademark weapon Crescent Rose. She can be seen in the background in the shot where the troop of SPARTANs run past.
  • A SPARTAN wielding an Energy Sword can be seen fighting in the background of the big battle on Planet Doom. In addition to being a Halo reference, many have argued that the SPARTAN in question is specifically Pvt. Tucker, one of the main characters of the Machinima Trope Maker Red vs. Blue.
  • The Curator sounds like a slightly more humanistic take on the British-accented text-to-speech voice which usually narrates those "Ask Reddit" videos on YouTube.

    Western Animation References 
  • The symbol on Parzival's belt is the Thunder Cats logo.
  • Marvin the Martian can be seen in the beginning scene.
  • The Deora II can be briefly seen during the first race sequence.
  • During the final battle against Mechagodzilla, Art3mis uses a grenade in the shape of a Madballs Dust Brain toy to destroy it.
  • Among the machines in Aech's shop is Maggie Weston's Field Repair E-Frame from Exosquad. It can first be seen in the background when Art3mis "fixes" Parzival's hair, between Parzival and the Winnebago. Multiple versions of the E-Frame can be seen in the Planet Doom battle.
  • As stated in the YMMV page, the final battle is reminiscent of how South Park's "Imaginationland" trilogy ended: armies of characters from popular culture fight each other in a parallel imaginary world (Oasis/Imaginationland), the battlefield is nuked and everyone is wiped out, but the hero (Wade/Butters) somehow manages to survive.
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    Real-Life References 
  • As befitting the presentation of the ultimate prize in OASIS as supremely majestic and heavenly, Wade finds the Easter Egg in a vast room heavily inspired by the grandiose central canopy and altar at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
  • One of the weapons Wade tries to use in the Distracted Globe, which also shows up as one of the empty weapons in Art3mis' inventory during the final battle, is the StarLyte blaster from the Lazer Tag game by World of Wonder.
  • Wade mentions watching Art3mis's Twitch stream.
  • In the race at the beginning, Aech drives the monster truck Bigfoot.

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