This article is a comprehensive list of references to popular culture in Sunset Overdrive.

Video Games And Other Gaming Culture Edit


  • The Player pokes fun at cover mechanics in the teaser trailer, when a soldier takes cover behind a crate to avoid enemy gunfire.
  • Scabs will sometimes say that they are ready to take cover behind a chest high wall in the event of a firefight, to which another will reply "It makes combat so much easier!", another reference to cover mechanics.
  • When starting a Traversal Challenge, the Player may say that they'd rather jump through rings than watch a 5 minute cutscene, possibly referring to the dependence on cinematics in video games.
  • The end of "Find 4Kim" mocks cutscene mechanics when 4Kim says that she'll be gone by the time the Player has control again, which the Player doesn't find odd at all.
  • In "Tastes Like Chicken", the Announcer will come up with a combo name more ridiculous than the last, spoofing games like Killer Instinct and Unreal Tournament.
  • The DL Sea Monster is a reference to DLC, or downloadable content.
  • One High Point will result in the Player commenting that they are one step closer to "another useless achievement".
  • One building in the South West corner of the Old Factory District is numbered 1337, or "elite" in "Leet speak", a form of gamer lingo from the 90's.
  • After the main story is completed, patrolling Fargarths will sometimes say "Our journey is at an end, unless we are somehow given additional campaign content", another DLC reference.
  • One of the in-game franchises is Gamebreakers, which advertises used games, likely a reference to Gamestop.
  • The Fargarths will often reference roleplaying games, such as tallying up XP and grinding levels on certain skills.
  • Fizzie will poke fun at the concept of boss fight weak points in "This Ends Here", saying "Everyone knows the only reason you have a power core is so someone can destroy the power core!"
  • Sasquatch N' Friends is a parody of arcade/pizzeria Chuck E. Cheeses.


  • During the second phase of the final boss fight of Dawn Of The Rise Of The Fallen Machines, the Player will use Kinect voice commands to summon a Charge Rifle and to defragment the console's hard drive.
  • The Player will sometimes say "Xbox, get ready to record that!" as a reference to the Kinect voice command to record a 30 second DVR clip.
  • An Xbox One controller can be seen on the Player's dining table in the cinematic after the Horror Night prologue.

Mass Effect

  • The Player's dissatisfaction with the ending and warnings of incurring NeoGaf's wrath is a possible reference to the backlash Bioware faced over the ending of Mass Effect 3. This however, could be a reference to unsatisfactory endings in general.

Gears Of War

  • The Fizzco DSRC is a possible reference to the Hammer of Dawn.


  • In one respawn animation, the Player uses the portal gun.
  • Certain missions take the Player very high up, and falling off at certain points will summon blue and orange portals to transport the Player back up as an anti-frustration feature.


  • When low on health, the Player might say "Warrior needs food, badly!"

Assassin's Creed

  • The Killer Jacket has a similar look and colour scheme of a typical protagonist in this series. Sunset TV used the Killer Jacket to poke fun at the controversy caused when Ubisoft stated why there would be no playable female characters in Assassin's Creed: Unity, by showing a female Player wearing the jacket and stating that you can be who you want to be in Sunset Overdrive.
  • At the High Point at the Marina Fort, the Player will ask themselves if they should "synchronize" before reminding themselves that it's the wrong game.
  • When on the boat with Wendy, she will sing "Farewell and adieu to you Spanish ladies" which is a parallel to the shanties from Assassin's Creed: Black Flag

Insomniac Games

  • A flyer in the intro sequence lists spoofy names of previous Insomniac Games titles such as Persistence: Stall Of Man (Resistance: Fall Of Man), Catchet And Frank (Ratchet And Clank) and Flyro The Wagon (Spyro The Dragon).
  • "Fizzie: The Inside Story" reveals that Fizzie was created by a robot focus group who calculated what makes things "fun", which is a self-depreciative reference to the focus testing used for the development of FUSE.

Mortal Kombat

  • In "Boo Boo Roverdrive", the Player might yell for Boo Boo to "Finish him!"

Goat Simulator

  • When the Player acquires the Triceratops figurehead in "The Siege Of Wondertown Land" (or in the Smash Plants Challenges), they will say "I'll bet you never got to do THIS in Goat Simulator!". While wearing the head, the Player's only attacks are charges and headbutts, much like in Goat Simulator.

Street Fighter

  • Brandon will sometimes do an Hadoken motion with his hands during the B-Win boss fight.

Redneck Rampage

  • The DLC Amp Roughneck Rampage is possibly named after this game.


  • In Alan Smithee's Treasure Ocean, Alan Smithee asks the Player for a friend request, because he needs more red beets in a Farmville knock-off.

Oregon Trail

  • At the end of Bomb Delivery #2, the Player exclaims "You died of dysentary, I mean explosions!" which is a nod to the infamous way to die in Oregon Trail.

Final Fantasy 7

  • Excalamune is probably a play on Excalibur(see below) and Masamune, Sephiroths sword in FF7

Movies Edit


  • The Quest "Alan Smithee's Treasure Ocean" mocks the large budgets of Hollywood movies.
  • Alan Smithee himself is a James Cameron reference. He mentions making a CGI film, a reference to Cameron's Avatar.
  • Alan Smithee's submarine is also a reference to James Cameron, who piloted the 'Deepsea Challenger' submersible in 2012 to achieve a record-breaking dive to the Mariana Trench.


  • When the Player refers to the OD as zombies, Walter will scold them for it, referring to debates over whether or not certain types of zombie-like infected creatures actually count as zombies. It could also be a reference to the romantic zombie comedy, Shaun Of The Dead.
  • Rising from the grave is a respawn animation.

Star Wars

  • In "This Ends Here", Fizzie will say "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine!", a direct quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, moments before his death at the hands of Darth Vader.
  • The Fizzco Baton resembles a Lightsaber.
  • The Mission Complete screen for "Floating Garbage" references the tactic used by Han Solo to escape a Star Destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back.

The Running Man

  • In "Buck National vs. The Animal Kingdom" The Player describes it as Redneck Running Man when they first participate in it, which in the movie is a game show where "runners" (e.g. convicts) are sent to fight "stalkers" to the death while on the run in an abandoned section of the city.


  • When B-Win is pulled into the molten metal, his TV screens will briefly show him giving the thumbs up as in Terminator 2.
  • The Terminator's time travel portal is a respawn animation.

2001: A Space Odyssey

  • During Fizzie's first boss fight, he will sometimes say "I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that", a direct quote from HAL9000.
  • Fizzie's AI core bears a resemblance to HAL9000.


  • King Buzzo spoofs Mary Poppins in his exit after the concert, and spoofs Tinkerbell after The Building is defeated.
  • The Player's Glider in To The Rig has a license similar to that of Andy's mom in Toy Story.
    • A113 is the classroom of graphic design and character animators at the California Institute Of The Arts and is a common reference in animated movies and TV shows.

Mad Max

  • The King Scab bears a similarity to Lord Humongous.


  • Herbert and his mother being the same person is a possible reference to Norman Bates. The Player even comments that a lot of people under thirty aren't going to get the reference.

The Big Lebowski

  • The Dude is named after Jeff Bridge's character

Dirty Harry

  • The weapon is named after the movie series and titular character, and is the same model of revolver used.

Nightmare On Elm Street

  • One of the Sweater skins resembles the one worn by Freddy Kruger.

Dr. Strangelove

  • The Player rides the oversized Overcharge bottle into the Fizzco HQ Building in a tribute to Major TJ Kong riding the nuclear warhead at the end of the movie.

Office Space

  • Lou bashing Snackwrap with a baseball bat is a spoof of the fax machine scene.

From Dusk Till Dawn

  • An achievement is named after this movie, with the description of the achievement roughly matching the plot of the movie.

Bill & Ted

  • The time traveling phone booth is a respawn animation.

Back To The Future

  • Doc Brown's Delorean is a respawn animation. One version features Marty McFly driving off with it, another features Walter.

The Ring/Ringu

  • In one respawn animation, the Player will crawl out of a television set like Samara.

Risky Business

  • One respawn animation has the Player sliding into frame like Tom Cruise when he dances in his underwear.

Mission Impossible

  • The Player will sometimes respawn by coming down on a bungie chord like Tom Cruise does.


  • After rescuing Toby ("the babe") from Goblins "The Most Epic Quest For EXP", Ignatius references the line "You remind me of the babe".


  • The name of the Chaos Squad mission "Get To The Choppa!" is a reference to how Arnold Schwarzenegger's line "Get to the chopper!" is perceived.

Indiana Jones

  • When Sam tells the Player to use The Building's arms to get to the power core, the Player will say "Why did it have to be tentacles?", a reference to Indy's line, "Why did it have to be snakes?" from Raiders Of The Lost Ark.


  • Sometimes, Scabs will shout "I must break you!", a direct quote from Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.


  • During the final battle at Fizzco HQ, the Player will say "--things are getting a little hairy out here, cats and dogs living together and whatnot", a reference to one of Bill Murray's lines in the first movie, complete with the same line delivery.

The Highlander

  • When attacking a group of enemies after forging Excalimune, the Player will reference the film's tagline, "There can only be one"

Silence of the Lambs

  • During the Fizzotussin Scene, the Player states "It puts the lotion on its sk-- PUT THE LOTION IN THE BASKET!" Which is a reference to the horror movie Silence of the Lambs


  • The Achievement for collecting 250 fashion items is entitled "Going to Need a Bigger Closet" which is a play on "We're going to need a bigger boat" from Jaws

Television Edit

South Park

  • The company Jerb Construction is possibly a reference to "They took our jerbs!"

Breaking Bad

  • The Quest Breaking Booze features a man named Jess (a spoof of Jesse) who wants to move his distillery to the construction yard. He references being beaten by a gang of Scabs, something that happens to Jesse in the show.
  • When Floyd talks about "cooking" Amps, the Player will jokingly ask if his last name is Heisenberg, Walter White's alias.

Star Trek

  • The Player will sometimes respawn via transporter.
  • During the final battle, Fizzie will say "Resistance is futile!", a reference to the Borg.

Doctor Who

  • Fizzco Bots will sometimes say "Exterminate!", the iconic Dalek catchphrase.

Arrested Development

  • When blowing up the banana stand the player will say," there was always money in the banana stand."

Music Edit

Elton John

  • The Weapon Amp Rocket Man is likely named after the Elton John song of the same name.

The Melvins

  • The Buzzo hair style is named and modeled after King Buzzo, who appears in the game as himself.

Dead Kennedys

  • The Hair Spray Bomb's paint job includes white lines that appear to form the band's logo.

The Beatles

  • The Lennon Glasses are named after John Lennon, and are the same style he wore.


  • The Grind The Lightning Epic Amp is likely a reference to the album "Ride The Lightning".

Books And Literature Edit

Moby Dick

  • The weapon Captain Ahab is named after the main character, and even uses a harpoon as the projectile.

Heart Of Darkness

  • The achievement Oh, The Horror! is possibly named after Kurtz's final words, "The horror! The horror!"

Lord Of The Rings

  • In the second part of The Most Epic Quest For EXP, Ignatius sends the Player to find the one ring called "The Specious", a reference to Gollum's "Precious" (The Player also references this by saying that there isn't anything precious at the Guilt Trip jewelry store). Finally, once the Player picks up the ring that was dropped by an OD, Ignatius will quote Gandalf in the film by saying "Fly, you fool!". When the Player is learning how to control wolves through dreams (a Game of Thrones reference) The Player will refer to Boo Boo as a "Warg". Referencing the wolf-like beasts from the Lord of The Rings universe.

Game Of Thrones

  • The third part of The Most Epic Quest For EXP, Ignatius gives the Player a quest to learn how to control a wolf through dreams. The Player will comment that Ignatius watches premium cable, referring to the HBO series based off the books.
  • The Amp "Winter is Coming" is a reference to House Stark from the HBO series based off the books.
  • The NPC "Hardcore" and his repetition of the term "Hardcore!" Is a play on Hodor from Game of Thrones.
  • The chair upon which Ignatius sits highly resembles the Iron Throne.

Philip K. Dick

  • During the Fizzotussin Scene, the Player ponders "Do sheep dream of electric androids?" Which is a play on Philip K Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Internet Culture Edit


  • In "Boo Boo Roverdrive", the Player will sometimes say "Very murder. Much death. So corpses.", a reference to Doge.
  • Upon death, Fizzco Rifle Bots might say "Fizzco Robot. Fail".


  • 4Kim is a reference to image board 4Chan.
  • In "Up In The Air", Sam uses Reddit as a resource.
  • During the fake end credits, the Player warns that the ending will incur the wrath of NeoGaf.
  • Inside the Xbox One console, pop-up advertisements will attack the Player.
  • Twitter is used instead of an in-game spoof, as seen in Smartphones #19 and #25.
  • the player will speak about Facebook at one point of the story

Comic Books Edit


  • Stanley the comic book collector is likely named after Stan Lee.


  • When regular play resumes after the end credits stinger, the Player will say "I'm not the hero that Sunset City deserves or the hero it needs, but I'm pretty much all it's got."

Legends and Mythology Edit

King Arthur

  • Excalimune is a reference to King Arthur's sword, Excalibur.
  • The Achievement name for creating Excalamune is entitled "Excalibro" which is also a reference to Excalibur


  • One of the Gamestop/EB Games pre-order bonuses is a melee weapon skin in the shape of a Sasquatch leg called The Bigfoot.

Greek Mythology

  • Pandora's Box is named after the story of the first woman, Pandora, who releases all the world's evil by opening a special jar. Thanks, Pandora. No, really, thanks. It's not like it's a BAD thing or anything, nope, not at all.

Non-Gaming Commerce Edit

  • Two breakfast cereals are seen in the post-prologue cinematic, Fizzie Flakes and Sasquatch Berries, spoofs of popular children's breakfast cereals. They even employ the same marketing tactic of having the character's eyes looking down, said to be to entice children to buy them.
    • During Awesomesmithing, the Player will say "They're after me lucky sword!", a reference to the Lucky Charms Leprechaun.
  • Fizzotussin is named after Robitussin cough medicine.
  • When presenting Excalamune to Las Catrinas, the Player states "It slaps! It chops! So many uses!" Which is poking fun at the Slap Chop product, turned-internet joke.

Politics Edit

  • The Bear Force One weapon Amp is named after Air Force One, the aircraft used to transport the President of the United States.
  • The Second Amendment weapon Amp refers to the Second Amendment of the United States constitution, which grants the right to bear firearms.

Religion Edit

  • During the final battle, Fizzie will say, "I have become Fizzie, destroyer of worlds!", a reference to "I have become Death, destroyer of worlds.", from Verse 32 of Chapter 11 of the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, which also is what Robert Oppenheimer quoted upon the first successful test of the atomic bomb.

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