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Please double-check the big list of all pop culture references in Warcraft before adding a reference; while attempts are made to keep them in alphabetical order, they may not be. Most importantly, please note that this page is split into the classic game and its two expansions. Additionally, references to movies that are based on books might be listed under 'Literature' instead of 'Movies' and vice-versa, and the movie you are thinking of could just be referencing another work, too. Those might be mentioned in the case of very popular ones, but it will be listed under the original reference.
To be absolutely sure the entry you want to add isn't already there, please perform a full search on the page (Ctrl+F) for both the name of the book/movie/game etc., and the name/quote of the NPC/location.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm EditThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
- Assassin's Creed
- The 6th quest in the rogue-only legendary quest chain introduced in patch 4.3 is named "Assassinate Creed." This is an obvious reference to the game series, and the stealthy nature of most missions involved in those series.
- At Krom'gar fortress players encounter an NPC named Large Daddy which is a reference to Big Daddy from the Bioshock series.
- When doing the quest  , you are asked to kill King Gurboggle, and in an oyster next to his throne, you can see the Aperture Science Weighted Companion Cube.
- A Dragonmaw camp in the Twilight Highlands is named Bloodgulch and features a lazy orc named Griff.
- The achievement Beware of the 'Unbeatable?' Pterodactyl and the quests leading up to it are all a reference to the arcade and NES game "Joust".
- Dwarf Fortress
- Referenced in the Southern Barren's mission . A secondary reference is found the dwarven mob , which is a reference to a famous Dwarf Fortress story based around the settlement of Boatmurdered.
- In Menethil Harbor, the two dwarves, and , are sitting on a sand bag in front of the inn having a back and forth discussion about a flood that they'd had in Ironforge, in which Jundir explains that Hargin trapped himself in a channel (which can be a common mistake for players not minding where there dwarves are placed during construction) and then dug out into the dining hall to escape, flooding the room with water and carp (a very dangerous and well known fish in the Dwarf Fortress universe).
- Zero Wing
- Altered Beast
- Starcraft II
- The Mount Hyjal Quest "In the Rear, with the Gear" is a reference to the common soundbite made by Terran SCVs.
- Aggro sound of Admiral Ripsnarl, boss in Deadmines instance, "Ah, fresh meat!" is probably a reference to a boss in Diablo, The Butcher. When encountered, The Butcher says the same words, but with other, more demonic voice.
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
- In Uldum, the quest "Hacking the Wibson" is a reference to the end plot of Hackers. Whereby all of the "users" attempt to hack the "Gibson", A super-computer that can supposedly cause a mass of destruction.
- Indiana Jones
- The Alliance Archaeology trainer, Harrison Jones, is a direct reference to the explorer , "Indiana Jones", and the character who plays him, "Harrison Ford". *You will see many, many, many different references to the various Indiana Jones movies throughout all the zones where you come into contact with Harrison Jones.
- Minority Report
- The Val'kyr in Silverpine forest, Agatha, Daschala, and Arthura, are named after the three "Precogs" in the movie Minority Report, Agatha, Daschal, and Arthur.
- Office Space
- What About Bob?
- On the mercenary boat during the starting questline that takes you from Stormwind to Vashj'ir there is an NPC named Budd on the boat. He starts singing "I'm on a boat... and I'm sailing!". This appears to be a reference to the scene in What About Bob? where the deeply anxious and neurotic Bob is tied to the mast of a boat, and shouts toward the shore, "Dr. Marvin! I'm on a boat... and I'm sailing!"
- During the quest Get Back to Town, you are given an enormous helmet that belongs to one of the Oomlot pygmies, named "Dark Tan Helmet". This appears to be a reference to Dark Helmet from Spaceballs.
- Starship Troopers
- During the quests in Bootlegger Outpost, you are given a quest to "Wrangle" a Swarmer bug. When you turn this quest in, it is placed before Zeke Bootscuff and then Narain Soothfancy comes over and "telepathically" sees what the bug is thinking. Then they both yell "It's scared!". This leads into the quest titled: "Just Trying to Kill Some Bugs".
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
- The Pygmy Witch Doctor in the Kaja'mite Cavern on The Lost Isles says "Taronto Bosch" at one point during his chanting. This appears to be a quote of C3PO in RotJ when he is telling the story to the Ewoks and is talking about the Hoth battle.
- After the quest "To The Cliffs" on the Lost Isles, Kilag sends you to Scout Brax on a mounted companion. Once you accept the quest "Get To The Gyrochoppa!" Scout Brax yells "Get to the Gyrochopper! Do it now!" which is a reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie "Predator".
- There are multiple references to Zoolander in the Goblin starting area of Kezan.
- There are some "supermodels" that are having a gasoline fight.
- There is a part where an NPC runs up and says to another NPC "So-in-so is so hot right now!"
- Achievement from Firelands Not an Ambi-turner for defeating Lord Rhyolith without ever causing him to turn left.
- There are multiple references to Zoolander in the Goblin starting area of Kezan.
- The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
- In the Twilight Highlands There is quest called "Four Heads are Better than None" where you have to gather the four heads of Za'Brox and Beeble'Phod.
- Inglourious Basterds
- In the Uldum quest Gobbles, after the ritual Schnottz says "NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE" which is a reference to when Hitler says "NEIN NEIN NEIN NEIN NEIN."
- During the zombie attack on the Town-In-A-Box, a Goblin Survivor can shout 'What do you think? Zombie Kill of the Week?', a phrase also used by Woody Harrelson in Zombieland.
- The Video-Scene that opens the Top of Pyramide in Uldum.
- Snoop Dogg
- Bruce Springsteen
- In the heroic dungeon Stonecore you can gain the achievement . The band mastered a song with the same name in the album Feel the Fire.
- The Ink Spots
- In Mount Hyjal the Twilight Inferno Lords are known to say "I just want to set the world on fire" which is a reference to the 1940's song "I Don't Want To Set the World On Fire"
- Rebecca Black
- Gwen Stefani
- The quest in Winterfall "Umbranse's deliverance" provides a teleportation ring to return to the questgiver Haleh. When used, the spell cast is called "Haleh back", likely a reference to Gwen Stefani's song Hollaback Girl
- The Prodigy
- The Firelands daily quest has an NPC shouting "Elementals must die" The quest revolves around killing "invaders", this is likely a reference to their song "Invaders Must Die".
- Insane Clown Posse (ICP)
- The daily quest in Tol Barad Peninsula "Magnets, How Do They Work?" is a reference to the ICP song "Miracles" where there is a lyric "Earth, Water, Air, Dirt, Fbomb magnets how do they work?" The song is known for it's bad lyrics and the video was even spoofed on SNL.
- Justin Timberlake
- Upon completion of "Black Heart of Flame" quest given by the imprisoned Tyrus Blackhorn in Hyjal Mountain, Blackhorn will say "I am living vicariously through you" which is a reference to the song "Vicarious" by the band Tool.
- Elisha Cuthbert - famed actress is represented in game as Alicia Cuthbert as a southsea pirate in northern barrens.
- Mario Batali - famed Italian American Iron Chef is represented in game as Bario Matalli <Sous Chef> for the cooking award vendor in Stormwind.
- Bobby Flay - famed Food Network star and American Iron Chef is represented in game as Robby Flay <Head Chef> for the cooking trainer in Stormwind.
- R. Lee Ermey - widely regarded as the no-nonsense hard-ass drill instructor in the critically acclaimed 1987 Stanley Kubrick film "Full Metal Jacket," Ermey is represented in-game as the NPC Lieutenant Emry. He is located on the Twilight Shore of the Twilight Highlands and sports a crew cut while speaking to the player in a manner much like the character Ermey portays.
- Gordon Ramsay - Chef Gordon Ramsay can be found in the Steam Pools in Feralas under the name Gordon Tramsay <Head Chef>. When you talk to him he says "Do you have what it takes to stay in my kitchen?" This is a reference to his popular reality TV show, Hells Kitchen.
- Avatar, the Last Airbender
- The Great Divide that separates the north and south Barrens is a reference to the canyon of the same name in Avatar, the Last Airbender.
- CSI: Miami
- Upon first meeting Lt Horatio Laine in Westfall, players will see the NPC play out the opening crime scene. In true CSI:Miami tradition the NPC Horatio Laine finishs the scene with the following line: "Looks like they put the horse...", puts on sunglasses, "before the cart."
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer
- The early given quest in Cataclysm "Once More, With Eeling" probably is a reference to the musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer "Once More, With Feeling".
- Dragonball Z
- When a certain player reaches 9,000 achievement points, they will get the achievement [It's Over Nine Thousand!]. This is an obvious reference to Vegeta's very famous line which actually was mistranslated from the Japanese dub.
- Upon completing the quest "The Old Barracks", you get to deliver the quest to an NPC named "Jack Bauden". This is an obvious reference to Jack Bauer, the leading character of the hit-series. Even in the quest description when you deliver the quest, it says: "I'm SI:7 Agent Jack Bauden. This is the longest day of my life.", which is a near-perfect quotation from the series.
- Invader Zim
- Boss Mida's title, Her Tallness, is a reference to the leaders of the Irken Armada, the Tallest. This was originally planned by her makers on the forums to actually be "Her Tallest", but Blizzard presumably couldn't get the rights.
- Spongebob Squarepants
- When flipping a Mysterious Fortune Card, there is a chance one of them will give you lucky numbers. These lucky numbers are 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42, which are the Lost numbers that appear on the hatch and in various other places throughout the show.
- You can also find the same numbers on a hatch on a small island in Scholazar Basin. When you hover your mouse over the hatch, (which is a metal door in the ground with a small glass window that seems to be lit up) the famed numbers show up in the tool tip. They are, however, slightly different and actually read one number up from the Lost numbers. (5, 9, 16, 17, 24, 43)
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Five quests in Felwood are named "Do the Imp-Possible", "See the Invisible", "Touch the Untouchable", "Break the Ubreakable", and "Fight the Power". These quests are all based on lyrics from one of the most prominent songs in the anime.
- Star Trek
- All jewelcrafting dailies from Cataclysm have Futurama references.
- The title of the quest  is part of a line that C. "Roast Beef" Kazenzakis says in the Achewood webcomic dated November 17, 2004.
- Marvel Comics
- The locations of Yor'sahj the Unsleeping and Warlord Zon'ozz in the first half of Dragon Soul, in the maws of Shu'ma and Go'rath, are a reference to the major Marvel villain Shuma-Gorath.
- Lord of the Rings
- In Eastern Plaguelands, Gidwin Goldbraids and Tarenar Sunstrike have a contest to see who can kill the most enemies, in which Tarenar is winning by one point. This example of a dwarf and an elf having such a competition is a reference to the Lord of the Rings series of books and movies, in which the rivalry was between Gimli and Legolas. However, in WoW the elf wins the contest, and in LotR the dwarf wins.
- Homestar Runner
- Bed Intruder
- In Uldum, when Schnottz's building explodes, one of his bodyguards yells ""Hide your vives! Hide your children! Zhey're Killink everyvone up in he'ah!". This is an obvious reference to the "bed intruder" song on youtube.