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List of pop culture references in Warcraft/WoW

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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

WoW Icon 16x16 This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Classic Fairy Tales

Games

  • Diablo series
    • The weapon [Wirt's Third Leg] is a reference to the character of Wirt the peg-legged boy from Diablo, and his wooden leg which you could actually pick up and wield as a weapon after Wirt's death in Diablo II.
    • The [Cow King's Hide] is a piece of chest armor dropped from various higher level creatures across the game world, and it refers to the 'Cow King' from Diablo II, located on the Cow Level.
    • The enemy Razorclaw the Butcher and the item [Butcher's Cleaver] are references to the overlord unique monster "The Butcher" in Diablo and the item he dropped.
    • The item [Shadowfang] is a reference to the sword of the same name in Diablo II. There is also the [Staff of Jordan] which is a reference to a popular item in Diablo II called "Stone of Jordan".
    • The weapon set Dal'Rend's Arms (consisting of [Dal'Rend's Sacred Charge] and [Dal'Rend's Tribal Guardian]) is a reference to the Diablo II set Bul-Kathos' Children (consisting of Bul-Kathos' Sacred Charge and Bul'Kathos' Tribal Guardian).
    • The item [Naglering] is a possible reference to the "Nagelring" from Diablo II.
    • One of the tips displayed as the player logs in to the game is, "'There is no cow level," a reference to a popular rumor about there being a secret cow level in Diablo (after which they really DID put a secret cow level into Diablo II). The phrase "thereisnocowlevel" is also the instant victory cheat code in the Blizzard RTS StarCraft.
    • WoW players who purchase the Collector's Edition receive a gift coupon in-game which can be redeemed for their choice of three pets, including a mini-Diablo pet (the final boss of Diablo).
    • The Rogue poison ingredient [Maiden's Anguish] is probably a reference to Andariel, the poison-spewing boss of the first act of Diablo II; her "nickname" is the Maiden of Anguish.
    • When you talk to a Dwarf NPC in World of Warcraft, they might say "What can I do for ya?" This is the same line used by Griswold the Blacksmith in Diablo, who even had an accent similar to a dwarven one.
    • The Elwynn Forest area Stone Cairn Lake is an obvious reference to the five Cairn Stones in Diablo II, with which you open the portal to old Tristram.
  • Donkey Kong
    • In Un'Goro Crater, the gorillas sometimes drop an item named [Empty Barrel], a reference to Donkey Kong throwing barrels at Mario in the Nintendo arcade game and the continued importance of barrels in the Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong 64 series.
  • Fable
    • In the Undercity, there is a NPC named Theresa that wanders around aimlessly. She is blindfolded and is a mind slave to one of the Undead characters in the game. This could be a vague reference to a blind seer of the same name in Fable (itself a reference to Tiresias in Greek mythology).
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • In Un'Goro Crater there is a character named Linken (a reference to the Legend of Zelda character Link) who has a bit of amnesia. You will encounter Linken by finding a wrecked raft which begins the quest It's a Secret to Everybody, named for a quote received in a dungeon in the original Legend of Zelda. This quest chain is chock full of Zelda references.
      • Throughout the quest line you will receive several items, including a [Faded Photograph] showing Linken with a female gnome who resembles Princess Zelda standing in Stormwind (or Hyrule Castle), a [compass] and [map] which are common items in all Zelda games, a [Lion-headed Key] (a skeleton key found in the original Legend of Zelda game), and [Linken's Training Sword].
      • The last of Linken's quests is called It's Dangerous to Go Alone, named after the line spoken by the old man in the beginning of the first Zelda game when he gives Link a sword. Completing the quest will reward you with [Linken's Boomerang] and [Linken's Sword of Mastery], references to Link's trusty boomerang and the Master Sword.
      • There is an NPC named Miblon Snarltooth, a reference to the Moblin enemies from the original Zelda game. You must buy a piece of ham for Miblon, which opens a gate to an [Evoroot]. In The Legend of Zelda, you must give a piece of ham to a Moblin to access another part of a dungeon.
      • You have to bring Linken's Training Sword to Donova Snowden in Everlook, where she'll then tell you about how the spring near her has special properties that make items better when you throw them into the spring. This is a reference to A Link to the Past where if you threw your sword, boomerang, or arrows into the fairy spring, they would be upgraded.
    • Near Linken there is also a Kodo named Dadanga, similar to the monster Dodongo from the Zelda series, and if you talk to its owner she will tell you that it "hates smoke", a reference to a hint given in the original Legend of Zelda that "DODONGO DISLIKES SMOKE."
  • Mortal Kombat
    • The same dwarves who quote Evil Dead and AC/DC while doing target practice outside of Kharanos also shout "Mortar Combat!" in precisely the same manner "Mortal Kombat!" is shouted in the soundtrack to the movie based on the videogame. (These dwarves' lines were used by the Dwarven Mortar Team unit in Warcraft III as well.)
  • Street Fighter
    • The male troll offensive spell cast animation is identical to that of a Hadouken. (although more likely the Kamehameha from Dragonball Z which the Hadoken is based off of.)
    • A Tauren NPC in Camp Mojache in Feralas is named "Hadoken Swiftstrider". He gives you a quest called "Alpha Strike", which comes from the names of the Street Fighter Alpha series and Street Fighter 3rd Strike.
    • Low level imps called Grells will sometimes perform Ken and Ryu's Dragon Punch motion when attacking.
    • Female Human Paladins perform a Shoryuken animation when casting Hammer of Justice.
  • StarCraft
    • Across the gameworld are disabled shredders with a picture of Infested Kerrigan on the screen.
    • The Silithid hives and the surrounded infested areas are strongly reminiscent of the Zerg hives and Creep.
    • WoW players who purchase the Collector's Edition receive a gift coupon in-game which can be redeemed for a Zergling pet.
    • During the Dark Portal Opens event, an NPC who is fighting the demon invaders is named Lord Marshal Raynor, a reference to the Terran character Jim Raynor who is a marshal.
    • One of the NPCs found at the Sha'tari Skyguard base outside Skettis is named Sky Commander Adaris, a possible reference to Judicator Aldaris.
    • The Vindicator in the Ammen Vale crash site is named Vindicator Aldar, possibly another reference to Judicator Aldaris.
  • Super Mario
    • In Un'Goro Crater, two characters named Muigin and Larion can be found. Their names come from swapping the first letters of "Mario" and "Luigi" and adding an N. Larion, who is clad in red and blue, is based on Mario while Muigin, in green and blue, is based on his brother Luigi. Also, Muigin (Alliance) and Larion (Horde) begin quests where the player must hunt Bloodpetals, which look suspiciously like the Piranha Plants from the various Super Mario Bros. games. Upon quest completion, Muigin references previous injuries when attempting to jump on the Bloodpetals, stating, "Plants shouldn't be so strong!" Several times, Larion insists that "It's Muigin's fault we're lost!" and "He told me to take the tunnel!" This is a reference to the Super Mario Bros. movie, where Luigi tells Mario to take the tunnel which strands them in the desert.
    • A food item can be discovered in various sections of the game called the Red Speckled Mushroom. The image of the mushroom is supiciously similar to the Super Mushroom from the Super Mario games.
  • Ultima
    • At the Darkmoon Faire, a periodic world event, there is a fortune teller who will ask you morality questions that are almost directly pulled from the morality questions asked at the beginnings of Ultimas 4, 5, and 6.
  • Ultima Online
    • The quest Duke Nicholas Zverenhoff has the player delivering a book called Studies in Spirit Speaking. When read, the book contains a series of Os (OOOoOoo), just as the dialogue of player ghosts appeared in Ultima Online. The Os in the book also represent ASCII text in binary that reads "Ultima Online Napa Valley Knights of Chaos", referring to a player guild on an Ultima Online server. The title of the book is a reference to the game's necromancer-related skill required to understand ghosts.

Film and television

  • Alias
    • One of the female Human's /silly emotes says, "I can't wait till this quest is done and I can look for another Garibaldi artifact," a reference to the Rambaldi artifacts pursued by Sydney Bristow. It has been suggested that this is also a reference to Michael Garibaldi, a character from the TV series Babylon 5 portrayed by actor Jerry Doyle.
    • In Stormwind, the thieves guild hall is named SI:7, assumed to be a play on both SD-6, which is the organization Sidney Bristow works for in the show, as well as MI6, which is best known as the British intelligence agency James Bond works for.
  • American Idol
    • One of the male Orc's /silly emotes is "Man, dawg, you know, it's like I'm feeling you, but I'm not feeling you, you know?", a reference to the phrases used by judge Randy Jackson.
  • Apocalypse Now
    • In Stranglethorn Vale, there is a boss named Colonel Kurzen, who went insane and raised an army from a small, hidden compound. This is a reference to Colonel Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando. The two Colonels' backstories are very similar. It is, by extension, a reference to Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, the novel on whose story Apocalypse Now was based.
  • Army of Darkness
    • Around Coldridge Valley there are some dwarves doing target practice. If one waits there long enough eventually a dwarf will say, "This...is my BOOMSTICK!", a reference to Army of Darkness. (This is the same dialogue used for the Dwarven Rifleman in Warcraft III.)
    • The gunshop outside the Auction House in Orgrimmar is named Boomstick Imports.
    • There are also several Gun items in the game with the word "Boomstick" in them.
  • Austin Powers
    • Part of the quest chain to open Ahn'Qiraj involves a gnome named Doctor Weavil, a reference to Dr. Evil, who sends a gorilla named Number Two to attack the player working on the quest when his ransom demand fails.
    • Inside Naxxramas, there is a cat near the entrance named Mr. Bigglesworth which was the name of Dr. Evil's cat. Killing this cat will enrage Kel'Thuzad.
    • One of the female Human's /silly emotes says, "Sometimes, I have trouble controlling the volume OF MY VOICE!", which is a direct quote after Austin's reanimation from cryostasis.
    • Both male and female gnomes' dancing resembles Mini-Me's dance in the second movie, The Spy Who Shagged Me.
  • Bewitched
    • A troll in Sen'jin Village is named Bom'bay <Witch Doctor in Training>. In the show from the 1960s, when a witch or warlock needed help, they would call Doctor Bombay by chanting, "Calling Dr. Bombay, calling Dr. Bombay. Please come right away."
  • Big Trouble in Little China
    • The [Six Demon Bag] is a trinket; its tooltip text says it "Blasts enemies with the power of wind, fire, that kind of thing!", quoting Egg Shen's description of the contents of his Six-Demon Bag in the film.
    • There is a hidden area under one of the lakes in Deadwind Pass where you can view floating corpses chained to the lake floor, a reference to the "hell of the upside-down sinners".
  • Caddyshack
    • There is an NPC in Darnassus, Jenal <Ditch Digger>, behind one of the large trees that houses the Druid trainers, surrounded by piles of dirt. When Jenal asked Arch Druid Fandral Staghelm what his purpose in life would be, he was told that "the world needs ditch diggers too." This line was spoken by the judge in the movie when the main character Danny expressed his doubt at having enough money for college.
  • Caveman
    • When targeted, one of the random messages an NPC orc will say is "zug zug," a word used in this film intended to mean "sex." (This dialogue was used in previous Warcraft games as well.)
    • One of the female Orc "flirting" lines is "You had me at zug zug," which is also a reference to one of the final lines of Jerry Maguire.
  • Chasing Amy/Congo
    • A quest in Un'Goro Crater is named Chasing A-Me 01 (a reference to the movie's name), and tasks the player with finding and rescuing a mechanized female gorilla from a pack of wild apes, reminiscent of Congo.
  • Cheers
    • In the Mage Quarter in Stormwind, one of wandering NPC Erich Lohan's phrases is "Head on over to the Blue Recluse. Where everybody knows your name!" "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" is the Cheers theme song.
  • Conan the Barbarian
    • In the Badlands there is a crypt with the corpse of the warrior king sitting on a throne and propping up a sword, referencing a story in which Conan steals an undead king's sword.
    • Saru Steelfury, the Artisan Blacksmith in Orgrimmar, says (if you are qualified for Expert Blacksmithing and not Artisan) "No one, no one in the world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts ... this you can trust, Steel," which is a quote from the movie.
  • Daria
    • There is a female goblin NPC in Gadgetzan named Quinn, whose name and clothing are a reference to Quinn Morgendorffer, Daria's younger sister.
  • Dracula
    • The Guild Master of the Undercity is named Christopher Drakul, possibly also a reference to Christopher Lee, who played the vampire lord more than any other man in film.
  • Family Guy
    • The Quagmire is most likely named after the iconic character from Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy. This is further supported by the fact that The Quagmire's shoreline and lakes in relation to the rest of the Dustwallow Marsh is similar to Glenn Quagmire's head shape.
  • Farscape
  • Finding Forrester
    • In Dire Maul North, if Guard Fengus is approached in conversation (if Fengus is left alive after the player becomes the new king), he will say "You da man now, dog", referencing a line in Finding Forrester spoken by Sean Connery. The line inspired the ytmnd.com website.
  • Forrest Gump
    • A dwarven fisherman named Gubber Blump can be found on the beach near Auberdine; he is a reference to both Forrest and his friend Bubba. His dialogue is similar to both characters; he introduces himself, "My name's Gubber, Gubber Blump," and later recites a list of all the different ways to cook crab.
    • In the human capital of Stormwind, the flower shop is run by Florist Gump.
  • Friends
    • The male human /flirt emote 'How you doing?' is a reference to Joey Tribbiani's famous quote from the TV SitCom Friends.
  • Friday the 13th
    • The lake next to the town of Goldshire is called Crystal Lake, named for a location in the movies.
    • An Undead in the town of Brill will give you directions to the lake to the east in Lordearon, but warns you to be careful because some guy in a mask killed a bunch of people near there, referencing Jason Voorhees, the killer in the movies.
    • A Human named Jason Mathers stands on a small pier on the shores of Crystal Lake, and sometimes when a player asks a Stormwind Guard about the fishing trainer, they will tell that the fisherman once fished up a strange mask from Crystal Lake.
  • Full Metal Jacket
    • While doing the Un'Goro Soil quest as Horde, Ghede in Thunder Bluff nearly quotes Sgt. Hartman, saying: "Be advised, Jackson - I am in no mood for any comment that you think is cute or funny. I am here to make sure that the Arch Druid's research proceeds as planned, and I will weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve my beloved Cenarion Circle." When turning in the quest, he encourages you not to make any effort to help him unload the soil, and that "if the Great Spirits had wanted it done they would have miracled it up there."
    • The [Booterang], given in the Netherwing daily of the same name, has printed on it the first two lines of the Rifleman's Creed. The Creed pre-dates Full Metal Jacket by about 45 years, but was popularized by this movie.
  • Ghostbusters
    • There is an NPC in the Eastern Plaguelands named Egan that gives you [Egan's Blaster]. The blaster will release the souls trapped inside the ghostly and spectral citizens of Stratholme, and then can be used again on those souls to free them. A direct reference to Ghostbusters character Egon Spengler.
    • There is an NPC in Deathknell named Harold Raims which spoofs Harold Ramis, one of the writers of the movie and the actor who played Egon.
    • In the Hinterlands, one can find The Altar of Zul. Zuul was the minion of Gozer in the first Ghostbusters movie.
    • There is also a mage quest in the Undercity (and a similar one in Stormwind) which involves the investigation of disturbances and the capturing of ghosts in Filled Containment Coffers.
    • In Stormwind there are three NPC mages that walk around and talk about "crossing the streams," and that it would be bad. This references the admonition not to "cross the streams" of the proton packs.
    • One of the goblin engineers working at the race track in the Shimmering Flats quotes the movie, saying, "We have the tools, we have the talent!"
    • When turning in a quest in the Western Plaguelands regarding a ghost, the NPC will sometimes respond, "Listen. Do you smell something?" a line from the movie.
    • An NPC at Chillwind Point near the entrance to the Western Plaguelands will say "This job is not worth another sixteen-five a year!" The character Winston said a similar line in the movie.
  • The Godfather
    • Upon seeing his son dead, the NPC Tirion Fordring says, "Look what they did to my boy," which is what Don Corleone says after Sonny is assassinated in the movie.
  • Goodfellas
    • In Goldshire there is a NPC named Remy "Two Times", who states "I'll give you the best price in town...best price in town!" This is a reference to Jimmy "Two Times" in the movie Goodfellas, who has a similar tendency to repeat himself in dialogue like, "I'm gonna go get the papers, get the papers."
    • The Master Smith in Booty Bay, Brikk Keencraft, says "You think I'm a clown here to amuse you. Is that what you think? That I'm a clown? Huh, is it? You think I'm a clown don't you!" which is one of Joe Pesci's more memorable lines from the movie.
  • The Great Race
    • The face on the front cone of the goblin racer in the Shimmering Flats bears a striking resemblance to the artwork on a couple of the vehicles operated by Professor Fate.
  • Highlander
    • A master swordsman named Klannoc Macleod <the Islander> can be found on Fray Island near Ratchet, a reference to either Connor MacLeod or more likely the Clan MacLeod (which figured heavily in the television series) from Highlander. He is described as the "chief warrior" and carries a katana, the Highlander's weapon of choice in the film.
  • Indiana Jones
    • An Uldaman quest uses an amulet which must be fitted onto a staff and placed so that light will pass through it to open a door; in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy performs a similar maneuver to find the hidden cave in which the Ark was stored.
    • In Searing Gorge, there is a quest found on a wounded dwarf archaeologist named Dorius which concerns the Suntara Stones, a reference to the fictional Sankara Stones sought by Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom.
    • In Grizzly Hills, Harrison Jones can be found in some ruins being held in a cage. He gives the quest Dun-da-Dun-tah!
  • James Bond
    • Stormwind's covert operations and military intelligence service is named SI:7, which is a reference to MI6, the organization that James Bond works for. (This could also be referring to the real British Secret Intelligence Service.)
  • Karate Kid
    • One of the bosses in Naxxramas instructs his students to "Sweep the leg," a line from the movie.
  • Kill Bill
    • There is a weapon called the [Hanzo Sword]. This may be a reference to the man whom the character from Kill Bill was based upon, "Hattori Hanzo", an actual ninja who was trained from childhood and first fought in combat at 16. He lived from 1541-1596.
    • The mob Lefty in Blackrock Depths uses the ability Five Fat Finger Exploding Heart Technique which is a parody on the martial arts-move "Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique" seen in Kill Bill.
  • Krull
    • Inside Onyxia's Lair, there is a skeleton laying near the edge of the lava pool with its arm reaching into the lava towards a shuriken. This plays homage to the scene where Prince Colwyn had to retrieve the Glaive from a lava pool.
    • The creature The Beast also refers to the name given to the creature who controls the slayers from the Black Fortress
  • Land of the Lost
    • Un'Goro Crater is a steep-walled valley filled with dinosaurs. Two NPCs here are Williden Marshal and Hol'anyee Marshal, direct references from LotL's characters: Marshal, Will, and Holly. Also, there are crystal pylons which use red, green, blue, and yellow power crystals, visual references to the crystals used in Land of the Lost's pylons.
  • Lost
    • In Sholazar Basin players can find a metal object that when hovered over produce the numbers '5 9 16 17 24 43', which is a reference to the hatch in lost and 'the numbers'. the numbers in Lost are '4 8 15 16 23 42'.
  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
    • Gadgetzan, in Tanaris, is obviously inspired by Bartertown from the third 'Mad Max' movie. The town has a large caged dome in the center where fighting between Horde and Alliance is permitted, which is the exact same concept as Bartertown's Thunderdome. (This feature has been removed as of 1.11.)
    • Tanaris is a desert area that is very similar in appearance to the one in the movie (arguably, some players also contend that Gadgetzan is very similar in style to Mos Eisley in Star Wars).
    • Katrina Turner, an NPC in Gadgetzan, is a reference to Tina Turner and her role in the movie.
  • The Matrix
    • The guards in Ironforge sometimes say they wished they had taken the blue potion instead of the red potion when a player asks for the location of the Alchemist, referencing the red and blue pill that Morpheus offers Neo.
    • An NPC by the graveyard at Light Hope's Chapel occasionally says that he wished he had taken the translucent pill.
    • A NPC named Juston in the Cathedral Square in Stormwind City often says, "There is no spoon," a phrase from the movie that is also a cheat code in Warcraft III for unlimited mana.
    • One of the boys who is fishing in Stormwind's Canal District sometimes says, "There is no spoon."
    • [Bent Spoon], pickpocketed from Level 10-20 NPCs, is another reference to the spoon scene.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus
    • In the Eastvale Logging Camp in Elwynn Forest is a lumberjack named Terry Palin, who sometimes says, "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm OK. I sleep all night and I work all day." These are the lyrics to the chorus of Monty Python's Lumberjack Song, originally performed by Michael Palin. The song was composed by Michael Palin, Terry Jones (another member of Monty Python), and Fred Tomlinson. The NPC's name is a combination of Terry Jones and Michael Palin's names.
    • There is a consumable item purchasable at the Darkmoon Faire called [Crunchy Frog], a reference to the unpalatable chocolates described in the sketch of the same name.
  • The Music Man
    • Meggi Peppinrocker in Everlook gives out the quest Trouble in Winterspring! which borrows heavily from the lyrics of Meredith Willson's song "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man. In the musical, Professor Harold Hill sings of how playing pool requires "judgement, brains and maturity," and how he's developed "a cool head and a keen eye." Meggi uses these same phrases and other direct quotes from the song's lyrics when talking about her experiences in the wilderness of Winterspring.
  • Old School
    • When performing the quest Triage (Alliance) for Dr. Gustaf VanHowzen, the injured soldiers occasionally say the line "...I...I think I see Blue.." This is a reference to a scene from Old School where Will Ferrell's character has been badly beaten and is slightly delirious. Once Ferrell's friend comes to help him, Ferrell says the lines "I'm so cold Mitch... I think I see Blue. He looks glorious," Blue being another character in the movie that had previously died.
  • Popeye
    • Topper McNabb in Stormwind occasionally says, "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today," a frequent quote from the character Wimpy.
  • The Prisoner
    • There is a quest in Everlook involving a mob named Number Two, who is a gorilla. Number Two was the antagonist of this influential British sci-fi programme, and a gorilla mask factored very heavily into the show's final episode.
  • Scarface
    • In the Eastern Plaguelands, an NPC by the name of Tirion Fordring lives in a small house in the wilderness. When a monster approaches him, he gets out his hammer and says, "Say hello to my little friend." This is a quote from the movie Scarface from 1983 starring Al Pacino.
  • The Silence of the Lambs
    • In Dire Maul North, there are a series of quests that involve the creation of a [Gordok Ogre Suit]; one of the components of the suit is an [Ogre Tannin], which is found in a basket. When you obtain the Tannin, an ogre (Gordok Bushwacker) comes charging down the stairs screaming, "It puts the tannin in the basket or it gets the mallet again!!" This is a reference to the killer Buffalo Bill in the film (and novel), who instructed his victim, "It [the victim] rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again." Also, Buffalo Bill was making a suit out of human skin.
    • In a cave in Thunder Bluff is a character named Clarice Foster. This is a reference to the FBI agent in the film (Clarice Starling) and the actress who played her (Jodie Foster).
    • In Darkshire there is an NPC by the name of Clarise Gnarltree (a reference to Clarice Starling). One of her dialogue possibilities pertains to the screaming of the lambs at night.
  • The Simpsons
    • A worker for the Darkmoon Faire is looking for her lost frog, Jubjub, which shares a name with the pet iguana owned by Selma Bouvier, a minor character.
    • In the Library instance of the Scarlet Monastery, a miniboss named Houndmaster Loksey yells out, "Release the hounds!" when attacked in a voice very similar to that of Mr. Burns, the greedy owner of the Springfield nuclear power plant. The two characters also have similar hair styles.
    • In Dire Maul, after killing King Gordok and causing the ogres to become friendly, some ogres quote The Simpsons, such as, "I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T!"
    • Occasionally, one of the children fishing off the docks in Stormwind will yell out that he has caught a big, three-eyed fish just like the famous one from the series.
  • Sling Blade
    • In Dustwallow Marsh, there is an NPC named Jarl that gives a quest called Jarl Needs a Blade, in which you must get him a [Moonsteel Broadsword]. He states while giving the quest, "Some people call it a moonsteel broadsword. I call it a swing blade." This is an obvious reference to Billy Bob Thornton's character in Sling Blade, Carl, who says almost the same thing about a kaiser blade.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • One of the male Dwarf's /silly emotes produces a phrase similar to the song "Heigh-Ho" from the Disney movie, although the character forgets the words.
    • In the instance Blackrock Depths, the player will fight against some ghost dwarves named The Seven. While most of them just have mean sounding names, one, Dope'rel (Dopey), confirms the reference.
  • South Park
    • In the instance Stratholme is a boss named Timmy the Cruel. He yells his name again and again, similarly to the South Park character of the same name. Timmy the Cruel is also possibly the same ghoul as Timmy in Warcraft III
    • Hemet Nesingwary in Nagrand will occasionally fire his gun at nearby talbuks and yell "It's coming right for us!" This is a clear reference to an early episode of South Park where Jimbo and Ned took the boys hunting.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • Lurking off the northern shores of Desolace about a bit out into the sea, one can find a rare crab scuttling along the bottom of the reef by the name of "Crusty". This little guy is a reference to the popular TV show SpongeBob SquarePants as SpongeBob works in a restaurant called the "Krusty Krab".
  • Starship Troopers
    • At The Gaping Chasm in Tanaris, the quest "A Great Idea" involves capturing a Hazzali Swarmer (which resemble the insect creatures from the movie) and returning it to Zeke Bootscuff. Upon turning in the quest, Zeke asks Narain Soothfancy to come over and then asks him "What's it thinking?". After pausing momentarily, Narain says "It's Afraid." followed by yelling, "It's Afraid!" This is a reference to the end of the movie where Carl Jenkins is asked to read the captured creatures mind, and declares that "It's Afraid!"
  • Star Wars
    • In the Priest quest Blood of Morphaz, Ogtinc tells the player, "many druids died to bring us this information." This is a clear tip of the hat to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, where the Rebel leader tells the gathered Rebel Alliance of the second Death Star's fatal weakness, claiming that "many Bothans died to bring us this information."
    • The Holy Priest talent, Spirit of Redemption, that activates when the Holy Priest dies, reads "You have become more powerful than anyone can possibly imagine.", An obvious reference to the original Star Wars trilogy.
  • The Terminator
    • The final Hunter talent in the Beast Mastery tree is called Bestial Wrath and in its description is, "the beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear", which is a line taken out of Terminator: "Listen. And understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!"
    • In Marvon Rivetseeker's workshop in Ratchet, there is a mechanical arm upright in an elongated jar on an end table. This is a reference to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where a microchip and mechanical arm were recovered by Cyberdyne Systems Corporation from the remains of the first terminator.
    • There is a metal arm outside the lava in a small room behind bunch of crates in LBRS which might have come from a terminator.
    • Ossirian the Unscarred, the last boss in The Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, yells "You are terminated" when he kills a player, which is a quote from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
    • The Warlock's minion, the Felguard, sometimes says "I'll be back" when being dismissed, a line which Arnold Schwarzeneggar popularized as the Terminator.
    • The paladin Tier 2 raid set, often abbreviated as T2, is called Judgement Armor, a reference to the second movie, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Inv jewelry amulet 03

ThunderCats, Ho!

  • ThunderCats
    • The small inventory icon for several necklaces utilizes the ThunderCats logo.
    • There is also a horde quest in the Scarlet Monastery where one of the reward items is the [Sword of Omen], Lion-O's sword.
    • In addition, the Samophlange quest chain starting in the city of Ratchet is likely a reference to a moderately famous series of outtakes from the show, in which one of the voice actors asks, "What the f— is a samophlange?"
  • Trading Places
    • Topper McNabb in Stormwind City quotes, "Spare some change for a poor blind man? …What do you mean I'm not blind? …I'M NOT BLIND! I CAN SEE!! It's a miracle!" This is a quote from the movie where Eddie Murphy's character is confronted by two policemen when trying to scam pedestrians in the park.
  • Transformers
    • An NPC named Grimlok, named after the leader of the Dinobots, may be found in Uldaman. Grimlok says, "Me Grimlok, king!", one of the original character's lines from the Transformers TV show.
  • Trigun
    • On many wanted posters in the game there is a man in a long trench coat that looks like the character Vash, from the popular anime/manga series.
  • Troy
    • At the opening event for the Dark Portal, one of the NPCs fighting the invading demons shouts out, "Brothers and sisters of the sword! I would rather fight alongside you than any army of thousands! We are lions! Do you know what's waiting through these demons and beyond that Dark Portal? Immortality! Take it!" Brad Pitt says almost the same thing in the 2003 movie Troy.
  • Under Siege
    • The cooking trainer named Stephen Ryback in Stormwind's Pig & Whistle Tavern in the Old Town district is a reference to the 1992 movie Under Siege starring Steven Seagal as Casey Ryback. The Stormwind guards also allude to this by saying, "From the way he handles a knife, I don't think he was always a chef." Furthermore, next to the cooking trainer NPC, there is a cooking supplier NPC named Erika Tate, also an actor/character combination from the same movie (Erika Eleniak as Jordan Tate).
  • Xanadu
    • At the Stormwind bank, the three banker NPCs are named Olivia Burnside, Newton Burnside, and John Burnside. Putting their first names together yields the name of singer/actress Olivia Newton-John. The aforementioned Olivia Burnside touts the security of the bank by stating, "No one's ever stolen anything out of here. Not in the whole history of... the whole history!" Olivia Newton-John's character Kira makes an almost identical comment to Sonny when he tells her he's going to take her out of Mount Olympus.

Literature

  • The Anarchist Cookbook
    • A late level mage quest begins with a tome known as "The Arcanist's Cookbook". This is a reference to The Anarchist's Cookbook, a collection of articles on explosives, hacking, and other shady business.
  • The Bible
    • The Journeyman leather trainer in Stormwind is called Simon the Tanner, a reference to someone Paul the Apostle stayed with in the "Book of Acts".
    • Outside the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj is an NPC named John the Revelator, a reference to the last book of the Bible (Revelations).
  • The Camels are Coming
    • An NPC named Bingles can be found east of the lake in Loch Modan. This is a reference to Major James Bigglesworth, known to all as "'Biggles'", is a fictional pilot and adventurer created by 'W. E. Johns'. The first collection of Biggles stories, 'The Camels are Coming', was published in 1932. Characters named "Biggles"--also a reference to the Johns character—were a running joke in a couple of 'Monty Python' sketches. The "Spanish Inquisition" sketch featured 'Terry Jones' as a "Cardinal Biggles" (complete with goggles), while the "Biggles" sketch featured 'Graham Chapman' in the titular role.
  • Chronicles of Narnia
    • There is a pair of boots called "Dawn Treaders," an obvious reference to "C. S. Lewis"' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
  • Crime and Punishment
    • There is an NPC in Stormwind City named Nikova Raskol, a play on the name Raskolnikov, the protagonist of 'Fyodor Dostoevskys Crime and Punishment.
    • There is also a quest of the same name where a character must kill an NPC named Dextren Ward.
  • Damon Knight
    • An Exotic Cookbook found in some areas of the game through killing NPCs or pickpocketing them has the flavor text "How To Serve Man", a reference to Damon Knight's short story "To Serve Man", which was later made into a Twilight Zone episode and parodied in one "Treehouse of Horror" special on The Simpsons.
  • The Divine Comedy
    • A signpost on the western edge of Deadwind Pass bears the words "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here". In some translations of Dante's Inferno, these same words are written on the gates of Hell.
  • Discworld
    • In Dustwallow Marsh there is a Watchman called Captain Vimes, a direct reference to Captain Vimes of the Night Watch, one of Terry Pratchett's popular Discworld characters. Another reference to this character might be Commander Samaul.
    • There is also a series of quests in Duskwood for a group of NPCs belonging to The Night Watch.
    • Mayor of the Darkshire, Ebonlocke, might be a minor reference to Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, Lord Havelock Vetinari.
  • Dragonlance
    • Hall of Thanes can easily be a reference to the Hall of the Thanes that was the throne room in Pax Tharkas. It also can be a reference to the Valley of the Thanes where the kings of Thorbardin are laid to rest.
    • Iron Forge is similar to the family name of a Hero of the Lance, Flint Fireforge.
    • A forsaken warrior trainer in Brill called Ratslin Maime is a play on words on the famous character Raistlin Majere.
    • The Pig and Whistle tavern mentioned elsewhere as an easter egg is the name of an inn in Flotsam in Dragonlance.
  • Dune
    • Obviously, the mobs called "Sandworms" are a reference to the huge worms in Dune.
    • The worm boss Ouro in AQ 40 has a 6% drop chance on an item called [Jom Gabbar]. The icon resembles a mysterious box. In the Dune book Muad'dib was tested with a box and a poisoned needle. The box was simply called 'the box,' but the needle was called Gom jabbar. In the test you place your hand in the box and it will cause unimaginable pain until the test ends. However, if you take your hand out too early the one testing you will stab you with the needle and you will die instantly.
    • As of patch 1.12, the desert of Silithus features a collectible item called "Silithyst" which appears in "blooms" throughout the desert just as Spice does in the novel. The catch phrase for this is "He who controls the Silithyst, controls the desert" which is a play on the novel's catch phrase "He who controls the Spice, controls the universe."
    • A sleeping Druid named "Kerlonian Evershade" will occasionally say "The sleeper has awakened" when you blow a horn to wake him up. The quote was also used by the Druids in "Warcraft III."
    • In Trisfal Glades along the Whispering Shore and the North Coast two rare Murlocs will spawn named Maud and Deeb. Together the names are a reference to Muad'dib from the novel.
  • Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (Sir Thomas Gray, 1750)
    • The road from the Dark Portal to Hellfire Citadel is The Path of Glory,a reference to the famous line that ends the 9th stanza of Gray's poem which reads,
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
    • The line from Gray also became the title of Humphrey Cobb's World War I novel and the 1957 Stanley Kubrick movie of the same name, Paths of Glory.
  • Ernest Hemingway
    • The quest giver Hemet Nesingwary- an anagram of Ernest Hemingway- is the typical "great white hunter" found in many Hemingway stories. The quest Neutral 15 [40]  The Green Hills of Stranglethorn is a reference to Hemingway's The Green Hills of Africa. Also, two NPCs in this camp also have names that are anagrams of authors' names, Sir S.J. Erlgadin (J.D. Salinger) and Ajeck Rouack (Jack Kerouac).
  • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
    • The dagger [Heartseeker] may be a reference to Fafhrd, who always named his offhand dagger "Heartseeker".
  • Farseer Trilogy
    • The NPC Shado 'Fitz' Farstrider at Nesingwary's Expedition in Nagrand is a reference to the assassin Fitz Farseer from the Farseer Trilogy written by Robin Hobb.
  • Five Deadly Venoms
    • Within the city of Stormwind lies a poison shop called "The Five Deadly Venoms", which is a reference to the Kung-fu cult hit of the same name.
  • Flowers for Algernon
    • An undead man in the Apothecarium of the Undercity named Algernon stands holding a peacebloom, a reference to the aforementioned novel.
  • Hades' Daughter
    • There is an NPC in Teldrassil named Asterion who is trapped and must be set free. This is a reference to Sarah Douglass' character in the Troy Game series.
  • Heart of Darkness
    • In Stranglethorn Vale, near the northern edge of the map, there is a camp named Kurzen's Compound, with adds such as medicine men. This is a reference to the character Kurtz who befriended an African tribe deep in the jungle and eventually went mad.
  • Harry Potter
    • A quest from the Mor'Ladim series of quests in Darkshire is named "The Daughter Who Lived," a reference to "The Boy Who Lived," which Harry Potter is referred to in the series.
    • A quest for the second Scourge Invasion is called Neutral 15 [70R] Chamber of Secrets which quotes the title of a Harry Potter Book. To complete this quest, you have to kill Tenris Mirkblood, whose surname sounds similar to 'mudblood', which is an insult aimed at wizards/witches with no magical parents.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    • In Deeprun Tram, there is a Leper Gnome by the name of Haggle who walks around and says, "Forty-two... forty-two what? It could be anything..." This is a reference to the Douglas Adams classic where the answer to "The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything" is "'Forty-two'". Two popular Questions to the Answer of Forty-Two are "At what number on a certain street in New York City is the club known as Stavro Mueller Beta located at?" and "What do you get if you multiply six by seven?", as well as "How many roads must a man walk down?".
    • Non-combat pets, or companion pets, have "42" health-points (hp). A possible reference to the answer to "The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything".
    • Zafod Boombox in the Gunship battle in Icecrown Citadel, is referring to Zaphod Beeblebrox
  • Xaviera Hollander
    • In Booty Bay, the fishing trainers shop is named The Happy Bobber, although the sign outside shows a fishhook. This is an allusion to 'The Happy Hooker', an autobiography published in 1971 and written by former Dutch madame and prostitute 'Xaviera Hollander'.
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
    • During the holidays in December, a series of quests are opened up and one involves a giant green yeti named "The Greench." He has stolen a delivery of gifts. The name of the quest is "You're a Mean One..." All from the book by Dr. Seuss.
  • The Jungle Book
    • In the last phase of the quest "Panther Mastery" for Sir S. J. Erlgadin of Nesingwary's Expedition, you are required to hunt and kill a black panther named Bag'thera whose name closely resembles the black panther 'Bagheera' from 'Rudyard Kipling'’s 'The Jungle Book'.
  • The Lorax
    • Located in Winterspring patrolling a broken temple to the south east, The Lorax is a reference to a Dr. Seuss book of the same title.
  • H.P. Lovecraft
    • The world of Azeroth is a modified version of Azathoth, a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, as well as a deity of the Cthulhu Mythos
    • The name Warcraft is inspired by how much H.P. Lovecraft and his stories inspired the creators. Replacing Love with War to create Warcraft.
    • During the quest "The Star, the Hand and the Heart" in Dustwallow Marsh the god of murlocs is summoned. The god of these fish-men is called Dagun, which is an obvious reference to 'Dagon', one of the Great Old Ones. Dagon is featured in Lovecraft's Shadow Over Innsmouth. Similarly, the murlocs are, perhaps not only in the given context, a reference to the novel's frogfish-like worshippers of Dagon, the denizens of Y'ha-nthlei. A movie with the same name has also been made.
    • In the quest Crime and Punishment, Councilman Millstipe of Darkshire wants you to bring him the hand of Dextren Ward. This is a reference to The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
    • C'Thun, the final boss in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj raid instance, bears a striking resemblance to Lovecraft's creation, 'Cthulhu', a horrible being, with a notable feature of tentacles.
    • The progress text for the quest for the tier 2.5 set (requiring you to kill C'thun reads "At his dwelling at Ahn'Qiraj, dread C'thun awaits in slumber, similar to the "In his house at Rl'yeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming", the mantra of the Cthulhu cultists.
    • Doctor Herbert Halsey, Artisan Alchemist (Undercity). This NPC is a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's, Reanimator. Herbert Halsey is actually a mix of two characters from Lovecraft's story, Herbert West and Dr. Allen Halsey. Blizzard keeps to the Lovecraft theme by giving Dr. Herbert Halsey an Artisan Alchemist role residing in the Forsaken capital of the Undercity surrounded by dissection tables and body parts.
    • A quest "Solution to Doom" requires you to retrieve Tablet of Ryun'eh from Uldaman. In Lovecraft's works, R'lyeh is the sunken city where Cthulhu is said to dwell in hibernation.
    • The surname of a Warlock trainer Richard Kerwin in Undercity bears resemblance to Curwen, another reference to The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, along with the surnames of Undercity rogue trainers being Charles, Dexter and Ward.
  • The Metamorphosis
    • In Tarren Mill, there is an NPC named Deathguard Samsa, who asks you to collect human skulls - the protagonist of 'Kafka's novel was named Gregor Samsa.
  • A Modest Proposal
    • A Netherstorm quest that begins near the Etherium area, the title is a reference to Johnathan Swift's essay "A Modest Proposal".
  • The Old Man and the Sea
    • In Booty Bay, there is a fishing trainer named Old Man Heming, an allusion to 'Ernest Hemingway' and his novella. Also, there is a hunter in Stranglethorn Vale called Hemet Nesingwary — an anagram for the writer's name.
  • The Right Stuff
    • There is a warlock quest in Felwood called "The Wrong Stuff" which is likely a reference to "Tom Wolfes 1979 novel" which itself was later adapted into a film in 1983.
  • Shakespeare
    • In Undercity, the four bankers have the last name Montague. This is a reference to one of the feuding families in Romeo and Juliet. This is more certainly derived from Mercutio's line, when mortally wounded "A plague o' both your houses!", that plague, of course, being the one of undeath, in this case.
      While three of the Montagues are "alive"/corporeal, Ophelia is a ghost, surely a reference to the Ophelia in Hamlet who drowns herself.
    • A butcher called Dirge Quikcleave in Tanaris says "Get thee to a cheesery!" when sending you on a quest to gather cheese and other cooking ingredients. This is a reference to "Get thee to a nunnery", a line from Hamlet to Ophelia.
    • Some undead creatures drop a 'pound of flesh', a reference to 'The Merchant of Venice'.
    • In Silverpine Forest there are two undead characters named Rane and Quinn Yorick. This is a reference to a famous scene in Hamlet, wherein Hamlet holds the skull of a dead childhood friend and mourns, "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • There is a gnome in the gardens of Castle Stormwind by the name of Tyrion, probably a reference to Tyrion Lannister, the Imp.
    • It is possible that Duskwood's "The Night Watch" refers to the faction of the same name in the George R.R. Martin books, particularly since both battle the undead.
    • There is also a wolf pup named "Lady", a reference to Sansa Stark's pet wolf, running around the Blacksmith in Arathi Basin.
    • There is Jon Jon the Crow in Stranglethorn Vale, which may refer to Jon Snow, a member of the Night Watch, who are commonly referred to as "crows".
  • A Tale of Two Cities
    • In Booty Bay, there is a tailoring shop with a sign outside proclaiming the shop name to be "A Tailor to Cities", an obvious reference to the Charles Dickens novel.
  • The Time Machine
    • Morlocks are a fictional species created by H. G. Wells for his 1895 novel "The Time Machine". It's possible that Murlocs are named for these creatures.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
    • [The 1 Ring] — An item in reference to 'The One Ring' of Lord of the Rings (LotR) fame. It gives +1 to Strength, Agility, Stamina, Spirit and Intellect. It's reportedly not as good as The 2 Ring. It can be obtained through fishing, a reference to how 'Gollum' finds the ring in a river.
    • A quest obtained in Gnomeregan to return a ring to a gnome in Ironforge has the name 'Return of the Ring', a pun of the name of the last book in the LotR trilogy.
    • One of the /silly emotes for a human male talks about an 'idea for a movie' (that movie being the story of LotR, replacing "ring" with "bracelet", and other thoughtful changes.)
    • The /silly emote mentioned above seems to highlight many visual similarities to the art direction of the LotR films, such as Blackrock Mountain and the surrounding Burning Steppes bearing a striking resemblance to Mount Doom and the surrounding country of Mordor.
    • A dwarven reimagining of the Argonath exists in southern Loch Modan.
    • Beren's Peril, an area of Silverpine Forest, is possibly named for Beren, a man from the past of LotR. His story is more fully told in The Silmarillion.
    • A dying Blood Elf in the Ghostlands gives a quest called Anok'suten. One of the rewards for killing this elite (a giant spider) is a one-handed sword called Stung. This is an obvious reference to Sting, which is Bilbo's sword in The Hobbit, used effectively against spiders in the book. He later gives it to Frodo in LotR.
    • Mount Blackrock appears to be based on Mount Doom they both overshadow the areas surrounding them, Mordor, and Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes. They both contain giant magma chambers where certain items can only be forged e.g. In Mount Doom it would be ring whilst in BRD it would be Dark Iron.
    • The mines of Moria is not just a mine, but also a small underground town where dwarves live. Blackrock Depths is similar, except being bigger. A stunningly close example between the two is the room with pillars in LotR when they enter, and in WoW the Lyceum room before the final boss. The Mines also guarded by the Balrog, and BRD is guarded by many fire elementals and giants similar to Balrog.
    • The Burning Steppes and the Searing Gorge are very similar to Mordor, for starters Mordor, just like the two zones, is a burning hellhole overshadowed by a gigantic volcano. There is also evil orcs in both Mordor and Burning Steppes, who simply want to take things for themselves. Mordor is ruled by Sauron, whilst Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge are ruled in practice by Ragnaros, an elemental lord hellbent on destruction.
  • Treasure Island
    • Every time the chest in Stranglethorn Vale is placed in the arena someone named Short John Mithril announces it. Short John Mithril is a reference to the pirate Long John Silver from Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novel.
  • Walt Whitman
    • In Duskwood, in a house near the alliance Gryphon there is an NPC named Whit Wantmal which is an anagram of 'Walt Whitman'

Music

  • ABC (band)
    • A dwarf in Eastern Plaguelands gives a quest called "When Smokey Sings, I Get Violent", a reference to ABC's song When Smokey Sings which contains the line, "When Smokey sings, I hear violins."
  • AC/DC
    • While taking target practice up in Dun Morogh, Shorty of the Dwarven Mortar Team will say/sing '"I'm T.N.T. - I'm dyn-o-mite!"'
    • There is a Rogue talent called "Dirty Deeds".
  • Alizée
    • The female night elf dance styles are taken from the French pop singer.
  • Bad News
    • "Burning, looting, burning and a shooting." – Dwarven Mortar Team. Reference to the song "Warriors of Genghis Khan" by the parody band "Bad News" The original lyrics are "Burning, looting, raping and a shooting".
  • Bob Dylan
    • A quest in the Eastern Plaguelands that begins at Chillwind Post is called All Along the Watchtowers is named for the Bob Dylan song All Along the Watchtower, made famous by "Jimi Hendrix".
  • Bon Jovi
    • There is a quest in Stranglethorn Vale called "Bad Medicine" a number one song off the band's New Jersey album.
  • Bauhaus
    • [Royal Overseer Bauhaus] of the Undercity Census Bureau may be named for the seminal goth band. This could also be a reference to the German Staatliches 'Bauhaus' school of architecture and art which deeply influenced the modernist period.
  • Barber of Seville and 'Marriage of Figaro'
    • A human in Southshore is named Bartolo after a character in these operas (he gives the quest Bartolo's Yeti Fur Cloak).
  • The Beatles
    • Michelle Belle at the inn in Goldshire is very similar to the lyrics of the song 'Michelle' – "Michelle my belle, these are words that go together well." See also Ringo Starr, below.
    • The Winter's Veil quest With A Little Helper From My Friends is a reference to the Beatles song "With A Little Help From My Friends."
  • Beck
    • The rare staff "Odo's Ley Staff" is a reference to the artist's Grammy winning 1996 album titled "Odelay."
  • Jimi Hendrix
    • When flying into or out of Dalaran one flies through a Purple Haze.
  • Blind Willie Johnson
    • In Silithus, outside the gates of Ahn'Qiraj is a priest named Jonathan the Revelator, referencing the popular Johnson song "John the Revelator".
  • Chaka Khan
    • A quest in Desolace from the chief of the centaur is called simply "Khan Shaka".
  • Depeche Mode
    • In the Blasted Lands, there is a quest giver that wants to collect crystals which drop in the zone, and the name of the quest is "'Everything Counts' in Large Amounts".
    • The Night Elf rogue pickpocket quest extensively references "The Bottom Line" from the album "Ultra". When you meet the rogue trainer in Dolanaar to start the quest chain, he is saying/singing a paraphrased version of the opening words from the song. His quest, which sends you to the Rogue Trainer in Darnassus, is "The Apple Falls", and her quest (to pickpocket a satyr) is called "Destiny Calls", which are lyrics from the song.
    • In Bloodmyst Isle, there is a quest called 'Precious and Fragile Things Need Special Handling.' The lyrics are identical to the first lines of the song "Precious."
    • 'The Deadliest Trap Ever Laid' is the name of an Aldor/Scryer daily quest giving Netherwing reputation, and a line from the song "Home".
  • Neil Diamond
    • Players can obtain a buff called Songflower Serenade, an allusion to the song Longfellow Serenade by "Neil Diamond".
  • The Doors
    • Lord Serpentis, one of the bosses in the Wailing Caverns says "I am the Serpent King..I can do anything." This is a reference to 'Jim Morrison' of 'The Doors' whose alter ego was known as 'The Lizard King'. The line is taken verbatim (minus the substitution) from the song "Not To Touch The Earth", one of seven songs that make up a medley known as 'The Celebration of the Lizard'.
  • The Electric Slide
    • The current female tauren dance cycle is the electric slide.
  • Emerson, Lake and Palmer
    • The ogre Torkus in Ogri'la is a possible reference to the hit Emerson, Lake and Palmer album "Tarkus".
  • Genesis
    • The Western Plaguelands quest "Counting Out Time" is from the title of a song on their 1974 album 'The Lamb Lies down on Broadway'
  • Grateful Dead
    • There is a quest in Redridge which yields a "Bouquet of Scarlet Begonias", a Grateful Dead song.
    • The bartender in the Lakeshire Inn quotes the lyrics from their song 'Brown-Eyed Woman' , "The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean."
    • The bartender in Goldshire quotes, "If your cup is full, may it be again," from 'Ripple.'
    • An achievement is titled, "What a Long Strange Trip It's Been," a famous lyric from 'Truckin
  • Gregory Charles
    • There is a Rogue Trainer in Undercity named after the popular artist and imitator from Quebec, Canada
  • Guns N' Roses
    • There is a quest in Stranglethorn Vale called "Welcome to the Jungle" a very obvious reference to the opening song of the Appetite for Destruction album.
  • Hammerfall
    • The Horde town in Arathi Highlands is named after the 'Power Metal' band of the same name. This can be attributed to the fact that Samwise, one of the lead Blizzard artists is not only a fan of the band, but creates their CD covers.
    • A quest given by Danath Trollbane is called The Legion Reborn, which might be a reference to the HammerFall song, The Legend Reborn.
    • A song from the HammerFall album "Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken" is named Hammer of Justice, possibly as a nod to Blizzard and the Paladin ability Hammer of Justice.
  • Harry Belafonte
    • There is an item in the game called Tel'Abim Banana, which might be a reference to the Harry Belafonte song Banana Boat, with the lyric "Come mister tally man, tally me bananas".
  • Jay-Z
    • During the Halloween special event, a quest from a needy orphan requires you to perform emotes to NPCs to collect candy. The Tauren innkeeper in Thunder Bluff asks you to dance, and once you do she also dances and states "I may have ninety-nine problems, but dancin' ain't one of them!" This is a reference to 'Jay-Zs popular song, "99 Problems" in which he says "I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one". (This line is also directly lifted from an 'Ice-T' song of the same name, though it is unclear which song Blizzard is referring to).
  • Jethro Tull
    • The quest "Bungle in the Jungle" received in Gadgetzan is a reference to the song of the same name from the band's 1974 album War Child.
  • Led Zeppelin
    • A quest for the Instance Dungeon Stratholme called Houses of the Holy is an obvious reference to the band's 1973 album of the same name.
    • A quest in Shadowmoon Valley is named "Crazed and Confused", similar to the band's song "Dazed and Confused", of their famous debut album.
  • Macarena
    • The human female dance style is the Macarena.
  • MC Hammer
    • The male orc dance style is the same as seen in the rapper's videos, most notably "'U Can't Touch This'".
  • Metallica
    • An NPC in Stratholme is named "The Unforgiven" a reference to one of their songs.
    • There's a quest named Ride the Lightning in Blade's Edge Mountains, at Toshley's Station. This is after their second album, and Ride the Lightning is also the second song on that album.
    • The Paladin spell Hammer of Justice could be a reference to the lyrics "Hammer of justice crushes you, overpower", from the Metallica song "...And Justice For All" featured on the album of the same name.
  • Men at Work
    • Caretaker Alen in Eastern Plaguelands says "I come from the land down under... where women plague and men sunder" every now and then as a reference to the "Men At Work" – Song "'Down Under'"
  • Michael Jackson
    • The male night elf dance moves are very similar to those of pop-singer Michael Jackson's.
  • The Muppets
  • Olivia Newton-John
    • In 'Stormwind' the three bankers are named Olivia, Newton and John. This is a reference to the singer/actor from the 1980s.
  • Peter Gabriel
    • The quest The Family and the Fishing Pole in Darkshore references a song from the singer's song The Family And The Fishing Net.
  • Peter Murphy
    • The quest Deep Ocean, Vast Sea in Darkshore references a song from the "Bauhaus" singer's solo album, "Deep".
  • Pink Floyd
    • In 'Hammerfall', there's a First Aid-quest. While patching up dying soldiers, one of the will sing the song 'Goodbye Cruel World' by "Pink Floyd".
  • Pomeroy
    • In Stormwind City there is a guard named "Patroller Pomeroy" possibly a reference to the band Pomeroy.
  • Queen
    • In Hillsbrad Foothills there is a level 32 Horde quest to prove your ability to protect the Hammerfall outpost in Arathi by killing ogres. The quest shares the title with Queen's song "Hammer to Fall".
    • A male Night Elf /silly emote states "Who wants to live forever?" which is also the title of a Queen song from the film "Highlander", which in turn is about immortals.
  • Rammstein
    • In the Stratholme instance, one of the final encounters before fighting 'Baron Rivendare' on the 'Baron run' or 'Undead side' of the instance is a powerful abomination called Ramstein. This may also, conceivably, be a reference to the German town called 'Ramstein-Miesenbach' or even the air-show disaster that took place at the nearby 'Ramstein Air Base', which inspired the name of the band, Rammstein.
  • R.E.M.
    • The two councilmen in the Town Hall of Darkshire are named "Berrybuck" and "Millstipe", a reference to the classic "R.E.M." lineup of "Bill Berry", '"Peter Buck", "Mike Mills", and "Michael Stipe".
  • Ringo Starr
    • A quest in Un'Goro Crater called "With a Little Help from My Friends" has the player rescue a Goblin named Ringo. The quest is named for the song sung by Ringo on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band".
  • Run-D.M.C.
    • At the Brewfest near Ogrimmar stands an NPC named Ram Master Ray, a reference to Run-D.M.C.-bandmember Jam Master Jay.
  • Rush
    • A quest in Un'Goro Crater called "Roll the Bones", the name of a song by the hit Canadian rock band, Rush.
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees
    • In the Dire Maul West instance there is a rare spawn called Tsu'zee and there are two Wailing Banshees right behind her.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins
    • During Hallow's End, you will find a pair of Human Commoners in Stormwind City, who offer the quest "Costumed Orphan Matron". Their gossip states, "When Hallow's End is over we'll smash all these pumpkins. That'll be the greatest day I've ever known!" This is a reference to both the band and a lyric from their 1994 hit "Today".
  • The Toyes
    • If the "/silly" command is used as a male Troll player, the character will sometimes recite, in a heavy Jamaican accent, "I kill two dwarves in the morning, I kill two dwarves at night. I kill two dwarves in the afternoon, and then I feel alright. I kill two dwarves in time of peace and two in time of war. I kill two dwarves before I kill two dwarves, and then I kill two more," a direct reference to 'the Toyes' song "Smoke Two Joints". The band 'Sublime' did a cover of the song; it's unknown which version Blizzard was making reference to. This was apparently removed as of Patch 1.11, for copyright reasons. [1]
  • Sid Vicious
    • An NPC on the shores of Lake Lorderon is named Nancy Vishas, possibly an allusion to 'Nancy Spungen', deceased girlfriend of former "Sex Pistols" bassist 'Sid Vicious".
    • When Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain played outside Shattrath during BlizzCon 2007, the band lineup featured a Blood Elf guitarist named Sig Nicious.
  • Warrant
    • There is a merchant in Ironforge named Sraaz who quotes random lines from Warrant's song Cherry Pie, like "Cherry Pie, tastes so good it makes a grown gnome cry". He wanders around near the Gryphon master. Sraaz only has one item for sale, Homemade Cherry Pie.

Comics

  • Fist of the North Star
    • C'Thun, the final boss of the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, will whisper the words "You... are... already... dead..." and "Your... heart... will... explode...". Kenshiro, the lead character of Fist of the North Star, is extremely famous for the initial line, and often through his fighting style would cause massive internal damage to his opponents, including making their heart explode in an extremely violent fashion.
  • FoxTrot
    • A reward from the quest The Perfect Poison is called [Doomulus Prime]. This references a FoxTrot strip from January 29, 2006 in which Jason obtained the most powerful item in all of "World of Warquest" (in the strip, Jason lost the item before he could pick it up when he was disconnected from the server for which he gave a scream so loud, it was heard all the way to BlizCraft headquarters prompting someone there to ask if someone had tripped over the cord again.) The name of the item itself seems to be a reference to Transformers character Optimus Prime.
  • The Incredible Hulk
    • Inside the Troll instance of Zul'Gurub is a boss by the name of Bloodlord Mandokir. While fighting him, random players will get a message from him saying "Don't make me angry. You won't like it when I'm angry," which is a quote from Bruce Banner before he transforms into the Hulk. If the player decides to attack the Bloodlord after he has given this message, the Bloodlord will charge forward and beat the player to death.
    • One of the voice emotes for Orc characters is "Orc smash!", a reference to the Hulk's catchphrase, "Hulk smash!"
  • Iron Man
    • The Avenger's Battlegear, with its red and gold metallic look and helmet, bears some resemblance to Iron Man's armor during his time with the superhero team, the Avengers.
  • Wonder Woman
    • A female Night Elf named "Arko'narin" is held captive in a cage in the Felwood. When freed and led back to her armor and weapons, she will spin in place a few times and will suddenly appear to be wearing her armor. She then says "All I need now is a golden lasso." In the 1970's, Linda Carter played "Wonder Woman" and would spin in place to change into her costume.

Sports

  • Capoeira
    • The male troll /dance emote actually consists of moves from 'Capoeira', an Afro-Brazilian martial art.
  • Hockey
    • Countless names given to NPCs are direct lifts of prominent NHL players.
  • San Francisco Giants
  • World Wrestling Entertainment
    • In Shattrath City, one of the NPCs is named The Rokk (Master of Cooking), a reference to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson . The Rock's most popular catch phrase was "Do you smell what the Rock is cookin'?".

Real Life Holidays

Some real life holidays and observances are reflected in the game. Events are sorted by date. Info is taken from Event.

  • New year
    • Celebrated on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with fireworks and free alcohol.
  • Chinese New Year
    • Known as Lunar Festival in the game, it is celebrated early February. (Between January 27 to February 14 in 2006). Some events of interest:
  • On January 29th (the date of the actual lunar new year in 2006). Celebrations occur in Stormwind, Thunder Bluff, Booty Bay and Moonglade.
  • On February 13th, one last firework show will be held in Moonglade. This parallels the Chinese 'Lantern Festival'; extra lanterns are spawned around Lake Elune'ara (the firework show occurs over the lake).
  • Red Lockboxes (Red packets) are given out from various NPCs (especially elderly).
  • A special boss named Omen only appears in this festival, inspired by the Chinese creature of myth, Nian. It is actually named 'Nian' in the Chinese version.
  • Valentine's Day
    • Known as Love is in the Air in the game, it is celebrated between February 11 and 15. Candies and 'love tokens' are given out by guards.
  • Easter
    • Known as Noblegarden in the game, it is celebrated around Easter and symbolized by finding easter eggs.
  • Independence Day
    • Known as Engineer's Explosives Extravaganza in the game and marked by fireworks, it is celebrated on July 4 on all servers.
  • Halloween
    • Known as Hallow's End in the game, it is celebrated between October 18 and November 1. Players can go 'trick or treat' at the innkeepers around this time.
  • Christmas
    • Known as Feast of Winter Veil in the game, it is celebrated between December 15 and January 2. Denoted by 'Christmas Trees' and decorations in some cities, and the appearance of Greatfather Winter, an obvious reference to 'Santa Claus'.

Other

  • Alexander Calder
    • Alexander Calder, a warlock trainer in 'Ironforge', is likely a reference to the artist of the same name known for his large, sheet metal mobiles.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch
    • Near 'Darkshire' an old man is named Abercrombie, as in the popular clothing company. He presents a series of quests, during the culmination of which he produces a hideous monster of his own creation named "Stitches" (resembling the Abomination creature in Warcraft 3). It's widely accepted that "Abercrombie and Stitches" is not an accidental near-homonym for the "'Abercrombie and Fitch'" brand.
    • A Stormwind auctioneer is named "Fitch".
  • Aberdeen
    • Seems likely that 'Auberdine' is named after Aberdeen, a city in Scotland. Both the Dee and Don rivers in Scotland Aberdeen strike a high resemblance to the Cliff-spring River and Wildbend River in Darkshore, and the long sandy beach of both Aberdeen and Auberdine confirm that the warcraft area was modeled after a similar area in Scotland.
  • Blackwater Raiders
    • This band of turtle-riding goblin body guards hang around Booty Bay as an extra peace keeping force, which seem to be a reference to the real-life private military organization Xe, formerly named Blackwater Worldwide when the game was released.
  • Blizzard employee
    • South of Dun Garok in Hillsbrad Foothills, east of Southshore, on the cliff overlooking the coastline, there is an epitaph to "Anthony Ray Stark (1961-2005)." It should be noted that Iron Man's real name is Anthony Edward Stark and his character was created in 1963. On July 7, 2006 it was confirmed to be an in game memorial to a friend of a developer and not a reference to Iron Man.
  • Blood Elf Architecture
    • The strange armillary sphere-like structures atop some Blood Elf structures closely resemble Disneyland's Astro Orbitor ride.
  • C-4
    • Engineers in the game can learn to craft "Seaforium", an explosive device that can open locked doors.
  • Circus
    • In Ironforge, the three bankers are named Barnum, Bailey, and Soleil. This is a reference to "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus" and "Cirque du Soleil".
  • Golden Dawn
    • The 'Argent Dawn' group may be a reference to the late 19th century metaphysical order of the Golden Dawn.
  • Edwin Van Cleef
    • Possible reference to the Dutch organized crime leader, George Van Kleef, strikingly similar in terms of name and profession. Even more extraordinary is it that George Van Kleef was assassinated in November 2005, grimly ironic as his namesake is constantly killed by players ingame as part of a quest series in The Deadmines.
    • He could also be named after the well-known spaghetti-western star, Lee Van Cleef, who became famous for playing notoriously ice-cold villains.[1]
  • Gregory Charles
    • The undercity rogue trainer's name is the same as French Canadian singer/actor/entertainer Gregory Charles.[2]
  • Hatfield-McCoy feud
    • In Elwynn Forest are farms owned by two feuding families, the Stonefields and Maclures. This is a reference to the Hatfield-McCoy feud from American history.
  • Haunted Mansion
    • Players battle Thule Ravenclaw in Fenris Keep in Silverpine Forest, he is believed to be named after the famous voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft who is the lead vocalist in the Disney attraction's theme song Grim Grinning Ghosts.
    • Outside the instance Scholomance, a hearse is visible in a similar fashion as the one outside the Disneyland version of the ride.
  • Hickory Farms
    • There are goblin vendors in various places working for "Smokywood Pastures" that offer cheeses and sausages. They also set up sales wagons in the major cities during the Winter Holiday events.
  • Hindenburg
    • One of the zeppelin goblins near the 'Undercity' is named Hin Denburg, after the famous crashed German blimp.
  • Homestar Runner
    • At Thorium Point in Searing Gorge, there is an NPC named "Master Smith Burninate", a reference to Strong Bad's dragon, "Trogdor the Burninator" — the NPC appears in an area near a large dragon, and will commonly drop dragon skin if killed.
  • Honeywell
    • In Southshore there is an NPC named "Apprentice Honeywell". She also shows up in the Caverns of Time instance Old Hillsbrad. Interestingly, though visibly a female, Apprentice Honeywell has the gender male (as reported by the UnitSex API call).
  • Immovable Object/Unstoppable Force
    • Two of the items which can be obtained as PvP rewards in Alterac Valley are [The Immovable Object] (a shield) and [The Unstoppable Force] (a mace). These are references to a logical conundrum which goes, "What happens when an unstoppable force strikes an immovable object?". Since the release of the Burning Crusade, two grey (poor) quality items were included; a mace called "[The Stoppable Force]" and a shield called "[The Movable Object]".
  • JATO Rocket Car
    • In the Shimmering Flats one of the racer cars has crashed and embedded halfway up the cliff face, a reference to the Darwin Award urban legend of the 'JATO Rocket Car'.
  • Jerky Boys
    • There is an NPC in Ironforge named Talvash del Kissel. This is a reference to the infamous phone prank group The Jerky Boys. Two of the personas the Jerky Boys used while doing pranks were named "Kissel" and "Tarbash the Egyptian Magician". The latter name probably explains why the NPC hangs out in The Mystic Ward, the mage area of Ironforge.
  • Jose Cuervo
    • A Tanaris quest called Cuergo's Gold references this popular alcoholic beverage.
  • Kym Wilde
    • There is an NPC at Thunder Bluff named Kym Wildmane, which is possibly a reference to the actor Kym Wilde or the singer "Kim Wilde".
  • Leroy Jenkins
    • The Classic Dungeons and Raids Achievement "Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy" is based from the player video of Leroy Jenkins charging into a room full of rookery whelps during a raid, while screaming his name through the microphone. The title received from this quest, killing 50 rookery whelps in 15 seconds, is his last name, Jenkins (Appears as <Name> Jenkins).
  • Morning Glory Dew
    • A high level and expensive mana restore drink that players can find is called "[Morning Glory Dew]". Blizzard employees have been quoted as saying they drink a lot of Mountain Dew so this item may reference the soda.
    • It has also been suggested that the initials "MGD" stand for Miller Genuine Draft, an American brewed beer. Given that most employers frown upon drinking alcoholic beverages in the workplace, the connection is tenuous at best.
  • Ngorongoro Crater
    • It seems likely that 'Un'goro Crater' was named after 'Ngorongoro Crater', 'Tanzania', the largest perfect caldera in the world. The geography of Un'Goro also bears a striking resemblance to Ngoro Ngoro.
  • O RLY?
    • After the saying became popular among players, one of newly added Goblin Auctioneers in Booty Bay was named "O'Reely".
    • There is also a white owl that flies around a hut near Steamwheedle Port in Tanaris named "O'Reilly".
    • An Undead auctioneer by the name of "Yarly" has been added in the Undercity Auction House.
  • Pirates vs. Ninjas
    • Eating a [Savory Deviate Delight] will cause your character to turn into either a Pirate or a Ninja. The effect is purely cosmetic. The effect will read as "Arrrrr" for pirates or "Flip Out" for ninjas, the latter a reference to the phrase "The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people"
  • Peanut Butter Jelly Time
    • One of the Tauren Male's dance cycles is based on the famous 'Dancing Banana' that appears in the popular Internet Flash.
  • Cristo Redentor
    • In Booty Bay there is a statue of a goblin with its arms outstretched, very similar to the Cristo Redentor statue above Rio de Janeiro. The statue is on "Jainero's Point".
  • Smith & Wesson
    • In Ratchet a High Elf sailor will give you a mission to travel down the coast and kill the cannoneers Smythe and Whesson, an obvious reference to firearm company Smith & Wesson.
    • The German names of these NPC, cannoneers Hecksler and Knoch refer to the German firearm company Heckler & Koch.
  • Sweeney Todd
    • There is a traveling salesman who wander around Elwynn Forest and Darkshire named Antonio Perelli, a reference to the traveling hair elixir salesman in the musical version of Sweeney Todd. Also, upstairs from the Stormwind barber shop are two gnome skeletons, referring to Todd being a barber and using his shop to murder people.
  • Thomas Cook
    • The cooking trainer in Goldshire, Thomas <Cook> could well be a reference to the Thomas Cook of Melbourne, Derbyshire, founder of the international travel agency of the same name.
  • Tonka
    • The Darkmoon Faire has several remote-controlled cars known as Tonks.
  • Tortuga
    • In the Tanaris desert, there is a quest to help a tortoise named "Tooga" to get back to his wife "Torta." "Tortuga" means "turtle" in Spanish.
    • Tortuga is also the name of a famous pirate's haven in the Caribbean. The eastern shores of Tanaris are thick with pirates.
  • Wickerman
    • During the 2005 Halloween season, Blizzard introduced the festivities of Hallow's End, which includes the burning of an effigy of a man (named Wickerman) in front of 'Undercity'. This references the ancient pagan practice of sacrifing men inside giant burning wicker constructs, called Wicker Men, as well as the movie of the same name[3]. It is possibly also a reference to the annual 'Burning Man' festival held in Nevada.
  • The Pig & Whistle
    • In Stormwind there's a tavern called "The Pig & Whistle" in the Old Town district. This is a reference to a bar in Hollywood called "The Pig & Whistle Tavern". It is probably a more direct reference to the book series Dragonlance, where Raistlin performs magic acts.
  • The Holocaust
    • In the orc Internment camps, in the Caverns of Time dungeon Escape from Durnholde, The occasional guard will yell "I was just taking orders!", a reference to the common excuse used by Nazi labor camp guards, during the Nuremberg Trials.
  • Where are the Cheetos?
    • There's a quest in Bloodmyst Isle called "I Shoot Magic into the Darkness." Those who don't spend their entire lives on the internet might not catch this one, but it's referencing a comedy skit done by the Dead Alewives about Dungeons and Dragons roleplayers. "Why are you casting magic missile, there's nothing to attack here!" "I'm... attacking the darkness!"

References

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