We get that reference.
Ready Player One spoilers here!
Ready Player One is a blast to watch, and a large part of that is the endless flood of references and Easter eggs with which the movie assaults your every sense. These span movies, TV, books, video games, and music, from the 1970s up through the 1990s–and to the present day, which goes beyond what even the original book referenced.
The movie just hit theaters, so it will be a while before we can get it at home and start poring over every frame. But in the meantime, we sent as many GameSpot staffers as we could spare to the theater and asked them to note down every reference, Easter egg, and in-joke we could spot in Ready Player One.
Here are the results. This won’t be comprehensive, but we tried our best. Oh, and for your benefit, we’re skipping most of the really obvious ones, like Gundam, The Shining, and the Iron Giant. You’re welcome.
Battletoads fight in the big battle scene
Battletoads was released on NES in 1991.
A squad of Master Chiefs (and other Halo characters) fight in the battle too
Artemis uses the Lancer from Gears of War
Wade buys the Holy Hand Grenade from Monty Python’s Holy Grail
Although he fails to count to three when he throws it.
Parzival uses the SPNKR rocket launcher from Halo
Parzival briefly changes into Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” outfit
He even does the dance.
Tracer from Overwatch appears several times
Chun-Li from Street Fighter is there too
And Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
Aech has a tiny Battlestar Galactica in her workshop
And the Valley Forge from Silent Running
Silent Running was a 1972 sci-fi film.
Wade lists Goldeneye as Halliday’s favorite shooter
Although it’s a little strange for the movie, since the N64 game didn’t come out until 1997, later than most of the other things Halliday loved.
Artemis uses an Alien chest-burster glove to scare Parzival
Artemis uses a Madballs grenade in the final battle
Madballs were a toy in the ’80s and even had a TV show at one point.
Halliday’s jacket pin is the electronic Simon game
Aech tosses Wade a murderous Chucky from Child’s Play
And its many sequels.
There’s a Back to the Future hoverboard in Aech’s apartment
There’s a “Save Ferris” logo in Aech’s apartment too
From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Samantha is wearing a Joy Division shirt when Wade meets her IRL
Joy Division is a post-punk band popular in the ’70s and ’80s.
Daito sports a Mortal Kombat sticker
Halliday has an Etch A Sketch on his desk at the end
The Magic Etch A Sketch was a toy you used to draw things that your siblings would periodically erase because they were jerks.
Halliday’s desk also has slides for a View-Master
These things were always pointless.
There’s a Beastmaster poster in Halliday’s room too
Beastmaster was a 1982 fantasy movie.
There are also Space Invaders decals on the wall
Is that Speed Racer in the first key challenge?
And the van from A-Team?
AND the 1960s Batmobile?!?!
It pops up later in the race as well.
That’s also totally Ryu from Street Fighter
Aech drives Bigfoot, the original monster truck
That looks like Deathstroke in the club scene
And that might be Deadshot
Joker and Harley Quinn are in the club scene too
Maybe the Distracted Globe was having DC night?
And Blanka from Street Fighter
Artemis’s bike is Kaneda’s bike from Akira
Akira is a 1988 anime film widely considered a classic.
The dance scene is a tribute to Saturday Night Fever
An iconic 1977 film about disco.
Parzival’s boombox is an homage to the 1989 movie Say Anything
Starring John Cusack.
Hello Kitty appears in The Oasis
Along with Badtz-Maru, the penguin, and other friends.
Halliday’s “funeral” is Star Trek themed
That’s El Dragon from Battleborn
Gearbox’s 2016 shooter.
Parzival uses the Hadoken move from Street Fighter
In his showdown with Sorrento.
Halliday and Young Halliday wear Space Invaders t-shirts
Paramount’s rebooted Ninja Turtles appear in final battle
Freddy Krueger is in the battle where we meet Aech
Christine from Stephen King’s Christine is in the race
Greatest American Hero logo on Parzival’s headset
A comedic superhero series that ran on ABC for three seasons in the earl ’80s.
Goro from Mortal Kombat is Artemis’s disguise
Duke Nukem in the Doom World
Right next to Freddy Krueger.
The Serenity is the ship that drops off the Gundam
During the final battle.
Iron Giant gives a thumbs up while descending into lava
Just like the end of Terminator 2.
A Chocobo appears in the final battle
It’s not clear if anyone from the Final Fantasy series is riding it.
The Winnebago from Spaceballs is in Aech’s garage
And there’s even more in the garage…
A Colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactica (The ’70s TV series)
A ED-209 enforcement droid from Robocop
Cameron’s dad’s Ferrari from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Swordfish II from Cowboy Bebop
An EVA Pod from 2001: A Space Odyssey
The cube used to turn back time 60 seconds was named after Robert Zemeckis.
Goldie Wilson campaign poster in Aech’s den
Goldie Wilson was running for mayor of Hill Valley in Back to the Future.
Art3mis uses the pulse rifle from Aliens
Can be seen in the nightclub scene. Also, the Art3mis action figure comes with it.
A copy of Schindler’s Ark is in Wade’s room
Spielberg directed the film adaptation, titled Schindler’s List.
StarCraft Space Marine
Wade’s aunt’s boyfriend, Rick, wears this skin in The Oasis.
The DeLorean has KITT’s grill
The talking car from the TV series Knight Rider.