Pop Culture Item References: Video Games, Movies, and TV
Blizzard loves putting little easter eggs and pop culture references in World of Warcraft, from Austin Powers (
) . This series of guides takes a look at all the cleverly-named items that are references to pop culture!
Since there's so many item references, we've broken it up into two guides. This guide covers the "pop" of pop culture--video games, movies, television, and other celebrities.
There are many more references and tributes outside the scope of this guide--items named after players, NPCs, achievements, and quests. If you like these types of posts, we'll consider doing more on references.
Edit: our second
items guide is now up
covering books, poetry, comics, and music references!
Check it out here
Click the cut to read about pop culture references!
Battle of Maling
: References the ancient
Battle of Maling
which is known for the famous ambush of General Sue Bin.
Birth of Venus
: This item turns your character naked and puts you in a large bubbling shell, reminiscent of Botticelli's painting
The Birth of Venus
sells a number of plain bags that are quite expensive, but have fancy titles. The name "Carriage" is a joke on
luxury Coach bags
. Several bags reference popular styles:
Other bags reference luxury trends such as eco-friendly bags (
), formalwear (
), and designer backpacks (
A series of rings lightly pokes fun at wedding culture and the obsession with jewelry.
for showy apologies and Tiffany and Co,
for dramatically gushing over an engagement ring,
for using a cheap ring,
for proposals, and
as a casual fun ring.
The former NBA star Karl "The Mailman" Malone has a whole encounter themed after him--
. Special items include
, referencing his slam dunk, and
itemset which increases runspeed.
: This ring's icon and name references the
, a mathematical object where there is only one side and boundary.
The series leading up to
has a number of themed items tied to PETA, the Preservation and Ethical Treatment of Animals. Items include
which reduces attack power against beasts,
: The flavor text is a reference to the
Creed of a United States Marine
Swiss Army Knife
: This item doubles as many profession tools, like
Swiss Army Knife
contains a knife, can opener, screwdriver, and many more things.
: These two Alterac Valley items reference the popular question "What would happen if an unstoppable force would hit an immovable object?" They later made a reappearance in The Burning Crusade, with
as vendor trash.
: The most interesting ogre in the world drinks this beer modeled after
: The flavor text is based on the tagline for the cereal
--"Bring out the tiger in you!"
: This knife is extremely versatile, just like the ubiquitous
promoted in infomercials.
Jose Cuervo Gold
are based on
Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila
, the best selling tequila in the world. Sadly, the riddle/treasure questline associated with these beverages was removed in Cataclysm. Players can pick up
currently from Hozen in Pandaria.
, a drink that restores Rogue Energy, is based on the popular energy drink--Crimson Steer being a clever synonym for Red Bull.
and the questline
poke fun at this highly-promoted frat-culture drink.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
reference the mysterious villain of the movie.
Army of Darkness
: References the famous scene in
Army of Darkness
where Ash yells "This is my BOOMSTICK!" to a group of peasants.
: This weapon is crafted with
. Ash describes his Boomstick as being made as follows: "It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger."
A Christmas Story
: Named after the popular toy
Red Ryder BB Gun
which was heavily featured in the film. A Christmas Story describes an imaginary variation with the description ""Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle" which is echoed in the flavor text "An official Red Rider Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"
: Pet cat of Dr. Evil, now Kel'Thuzad's pet in Naxxramas.
Back to the Future
: A reference to the
time travel machine
used in all three films. Fluxing is a unique term used to describe the pulsing light it emits at high speeds.
Bad Robot Productions
: Named after
Bad Robot Productions
, created by J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, which is well known for the new Star Trek series, upcoming Star Wars films, Lost, Alias and more. The battle pet abilities reference different productions:
Big Trouble in Little China
: From the quote "Hey, what more can a guy ask for?" "Oh, the six-demon bag!" "Terrific, a six-demon bag. Sensational. What's in it, Egg?" "Wind, fire, all that kind of thing!" (
: One of the wives in
puts a love letter inside a fishing tackle bag, which is never read. The WoW item is found inside
from fishing dailies.
: Based on the illegal cross-country race, the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, which led to a
series of films with Burt Reynolds
: Based on "
a horror sequence in which an ancient crate runs around devouring people. The battle pet devours critters and has the themed ability
is the name for a fork in Disney's
The Little Mermaid
. Ariel uses this to comb her hair.
: This is the name the other fish gave Nemo in
. The flavor text, "Just keep swimming," is a quote that Dory always sings. In addition, the item's icon looks like Nemo too, an orange and white striped clownfish.
have buffs "A new fantastic point of view!" and "Don't you dare close your eyes!" which are lyrics taken from Aladdin's
A Whole New World
: While Gladiator-themed names are common to PvP, the flavor text on this one, "Finely crafted to Proximo's specification," references the character Proximo, a retired gladiator, in the movie Gladiator.
: A reference to
, the most famous of which is the Lament Configuration. These high-ly-challenging puzzle boxes act as a door to hellish dimensions. When you click on the puzzle box, you hear ominous messages from Yogg Saron and the icon bears a resemblance to the decorative box in the movies.
: While Palladium is a platinum metal, it has an additional reference due to the flavor text, "Forged for T.S." This is a reference to Tony Stark in Ironman, who has a power reactor in his chest made from Palladium.
: This sword is a reference to
, one of the most famous samurai. Hanzo is a popular reference in contemporary culture, and may be a reference to the movie
where a Hanzo Sword is made for Uma Thurman's character, Beatrix Kiddo.
features a superhero named The Shoveller who utters lines like "God gave me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel very well."
, a young boy appearing to easily bend spoons explains the concept of the Matrix to Neo by saying "There is no spoon."
): Named after the fierce
Rabbit of Caerbannog
who took down King Arthur's knights. Its personality is captured in the unique abilities
: Name of a
Monthy Python skit
, with the line "D'you even take the bones out?" "If we took the bones out, it wuldn't be crunchy, now would it?"
: This item didn't make it to live, but it references the
Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch
The Princess Bride
, Inigo's quest is to find the man who killed his father. There's also a neat bit of lore where
resurrects Kel'Thuzad in Wrath after getting
, is killed, and becomes the scourge
: This distinctive bandana is a vanity memento for completing a major Lakeshire questline in which the main character
bears numerous similarties to Rambo.
: Jarl in Dustwallow Marsh says "some folks call it a Moonsteel Broadsword, I call it a swing blade..." while Billy Bob Thornton's character Karl says "Some folks call it a Kaiser Blade, I call it a sling blade…"
are a tribute to the iconic Jedi swords. They can also be transmogged!
Toshley's Station has many
references, but a specific item there referencing the films is
--the "technological terror constructs" is a reference to how Vader describes the Death Star once, and "The next best thing to going to the Academy" is a reference to Luke staying behind with Uncle Owen instead of going to the Academy.
: Parody of the cult film
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
: In season 7 of
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, the Hellmouth was closed with the Seal of Danzalthar. The flavor text, "From beneath you it devours," was frequently uttered as a warning for the upcoming apocalypse.
: Reference to the lines in the iconic show
--"Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, 'Ooh, this could be a little more sonic'?" "What, you've never been bored? Never had a long night? Never had a lot of cabinets to put up?"
Time Lord Regalia
from Dragon Soul references the
civilization part of the Gallifreyans.
: The flavor text references Kaylee saying "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine, they fall right out of the sky."
used to have the flavor text "Still flying…," a reference from the pilot episode Serenity.
, a popular Brewfest drink, is a reference to the ubiquitous beverage found in "Jaynestown." It's described as having "All the protein, vitamins and carbs of your grandma's best turkey dinner, plus fifteen percent alcohol."
: based on the valuable antique laser pistol, the Lassiter, which is referenced in the flavor text as Lasitor.
: Homer buys a lobster at the grocery store to fatten up for dinner, but grows fond of the lobster and turns it into a pet, giving it the name
. Homer ends up accidentally boiling it during a hot bath, but you can get a permanent Pinchy pet with
: Reference to Aunt Selma's pet iguana. You must first get Jubjub's attention with Dark Iron Ale--this starts a questline where you can hatch your own jubling with
Saturday Night Live
: Reference to the classic
Happy Fun Ball
skit which had a variety of funny warnings and side effects.
: References the popular catchphrase
," considered one of the greatest SNL skits ever.
: Reference to the "Make Love, Not Warcraft" South Park episode which featured the legendary item "Sword of a Thousand Truths" with this weapon model. The title comes from the quote "How do you kill that which has no life?"
: Cartman notably tries to put out a fire on Kenny by using a stick. This weapon is notable for being a stick/2H staff that all classes can equip.
: No longer available, this sword shares a name with the weapon wielded by the main character in
To Serve Man
, a short story, was adapted as an episode of
The Twilight Zone
. In the story, a foreign book is partially translated and is determined to be a cookbook.
: In this popular cartoon series, the powerful robot Voltron is shattered into five pieces. These smaller robots can reassemble to form Voltron--similar to how the less-expensive mounts can be combined to form the flying mount
: Nickname for the
that protect the Little Sisters. The questline leading up to this reward is also filled with Bioshock references--
as Little Sisters,
for Big Papa,
for Big Daddy, and
for Rapture's founder who yells out similar quotes.
: The weapons in the bag look like all the weapons you need to defeat the vampires and zombies:
. This item appeared during a special event in Karazhan, which also has references to the series.
For a look at WoW references in Diablo III, check out our
WoW/Diablo References Guide
was a reward for participating in WoW's Annual Pass, which also rewarded players who signed up for 12 months of WoW with free Diablo III and beta access. This item is no longer available.
looks like a Fetish Shaman from Diablo II. It is obtained by purchasing Diablo III: Collector's Edition. He's got some neat animations--constantly babbling, bouncing around, and occasionally breathing the Diablo III trademark.
, summoning mini-Tyrael, was a gift inside the Paris Worldwide Invitation 2008 goody bag. It was made in limited quantities and the code can still fetch quite a bit of cash. The battle pet,
, has the unique abilities
summons Mini Diablo, <Lord of Terror> as a reward from the Collector's Edition of WoW's launch. The pet will occasionally levitate and spit fire into the air.
is a WoW-Diablo hybrid--a murloc from a corrupt soulstone. He likes to breathe a lot of fire and smoke, as well as make typical murloc grunts with a demonic accent.
looks like the in-game Treasure Goblin who drops piles of gold and amazing items. It is obtained by purchasing Reaper of Souls. It has the unique abilities
is another WoW-Diablo hybrid--based on the new Crusader class coming in Reaper of Souls. This was a reward for BlizzCon 2013. It has the unique abilities
pays tribute to
in Diablo II, a unique ring known for its large boost to magic find. They both share the bizarre feature of having the attacker take 3 damage.
is a reference to the
items players could craft in Diablo II.
references a legendary ring, the
in Diablo II.
references one of the cults in Sanctuary, which posed as a peaceful organization yet served the Prime Evils. It's fitting that this item drops from Scarlet Monastery, another example of religion gone bad.
Many base armor types from Diablo II are referenced in WoW BoE sets, such as
: named after
, a unique bow from both Diablo I and II.
: References to the
Stone of Jordan
, one of the most important items in Diablo II, which was used to socket items when no quests were available. They were collected in stacks and used as a form of currency.
: Best known to players now as the namesake for the heirloom
, it's a tribute to a weapon set in Diablo II: LoD,
, which also consists of a Sacred Charge and Tribal Guardian.
from Shadowfang Keep's
has the exact same name and weapon type as the loot drop from Diablo I's Butcher.
: it's lacking good stats, but it's named after
, a two-handed sword with great stats in all three Diablo games.
: this low-level BoE dagger references
from Diablo II: LoD, a dirk effective in early levels too.
could be a reference to the Halo weapon or
from Diablo I.
: named after
from Diablo II, one of two unique Mighty Scepters in the game.
: named after
war scythe from Diablo II: LoD, which also was a weapon that was best at lower levels with a damage proc.
is a low-level BoE with additional armor, named after
from Diablo II, a winged harpoon with life leech.
is a removed item that used to be a reward from the Sunken Temple mage class quest. The Diablo II version had a cool proc that caused an AoE explosion and froze enemies in place--the WoW version had
, a chance to restore mana when casting Frostbolt.
is a reference to the Secret Cow Level, the Moo Moo Farm, in Diablo II, which contained
One of the loading screens for WoW has "There is no cow level" as a tip.
is named after
, one of the most important locations in all Diablo games.
, formerly used by rogues to brew poison, references Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish. She was the first act boss in Diablo II and had a nasty Poison Spray ability.
is named after
, an annoying vendor in Diablo I who would only sell you one expensive item--after you paid 50g to view it. His leg was amputated and replaced with a wooden leg after an attack on his village. In Diablo II, Wirt is dead and his corpse has a ton of gold (for taking all that money in Diablo I) as well as his leg, which is used to open the Secret Cow Level. In Diablo III, you'll need to buy
as one of the steps to access the new secret level,
: Donkey Kong throws empty barres at Mario as he's racing.
: Name of the
in each world. It's hidden in Krasarang Wilds, tied to
first makes its appearance in Final Fantasy VIII.
is a famous Gunblade used by Squall Leonhart. The WoW model bears similarities to this weapon, including a winged hilt and decorative bladed edge.
: Much of the Tillers is influenced by
, with the Blue Feather being a direct reference to an item in Harvest Moon that initiates a marriage proposal. The Blue Feather in WoW is given to Tiller friends to increase their friendship with you.
: This item is a reward for
, requiring you to roll a gigantic fireball around. This is quite similar to the gameplay of
, requiring the player to roll a highly-adhesive ball around the world.
: This is an obvious reference to
, an RPG featuring many Disney characters and Final Fantasy cameos.
: This crafted weapon looks like a Keyblade, a mysterious weapon featured prominently in the games.
The three characters in Blizzard's first game, Lost Vikings, are Erik, Baleog, and Olaf. You must guide all of them to safety each level, using their individual abilities. These characters later reappeared in Uldamann with loot that matches their abilities.
are Baelog's signature items--his bow has a limitless supply of arrows.
: In Lost Vikings, Olaf could float down and check out lower areas with his shield, as well as block enemies with it.
. Erik is know for running quickly and also bashing in walls with his helmet, which stuns him as well (
spell out Lost Vikings backwards. These items were used to complete the removed quest
: References the
Blue Spiny Shell
which destroys enemies in its path and blows up the person in first place. The icon also resembles a turtle shell.
Plants vs Zombies
): To get this battle pet, you must win a Plants vs Zombies minigame in Hillsbrad Foothills. It also hums the Zombie on your Lawn song when following you around.
: Named for Laura Shigihara, the composer of
Plants vs Zombies
Super Monkey Ball
: Turn into a monkey encased in a ball, just like the playable monkeys in
Super Monkey Ball
, the 2009 BlizzCon Murloc, looks like the Marine unit from StarCraft. The
pet will kill Grunty. The battle pet has the themed abilities
, from the original Collector's Edition, is based off the Zergling unit. The Zergling is weak, but can easily swarm the enemy in larger numbers for a quick victory. The battle pet has the themed abilities
, the Heart of the Swarm Collector's Edition reward, is based off the Baneling unit, known for dealing heavy damage when exploding. The battle pet has the themed abilities
, the Wings of Liberty Collector's Edition reward, is based off the Terran unit.
Super Mario World
, quest rewards from
, increase health and mana. They look very similar to the Super Mushrooms in Mario, which grant special effects to Mario and Luigi.
: In Ultima Online, all the dead players speak the spirit language. If you translate the book's text from binary, with O = 1 and o = 0, it reads Ultima Online Napa Valley Knights of Chaos.
In original Un'goro Crater, there was a quest chain paying tribute to the original Legend of Zelda with many iconic items and phrases referenced. Sadly, it was removed in Cataclysm when Un'goro got a questing revamp. This summary just highlights the items, but the entire questline is filled with even more references!
finds Linken stranded on a shore with a crashed raft and no memories, like Link in
In the followup quest,
, players have to collect a
--core staples of exploring any Zelda dungeon. The
key is a specific reference to the
in the Legend of Zelda, which can open any door in the game and has a lion's head as a decoration.
You'll also receive
, which is a photograph of two gnomes dressed like Link and Zelda. You can still find this on the AH, but it's quite expensive.
The next quest,
, rewards Linken with
after some traveling, which is quite similar to how Link always starts off acquiring a weak sword. In a later quest,
, Linken upgrades his sword to
. To get this upgraded sword, you have to push on a gravestone (
), as in the original
Legend of Zelda
Completing the final quest,
, based on Link's
, which looks like the
which flings a magical boomerang, often considered an overpowered item in Zelda.
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Pop Culture Item References: Comics, Books, Music, and Poetry
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Pop Culture References in WoW: NPCs and Quests from Games and Music
Blizzard and Community References in WoW
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