This page lists well-established cultural references in Fallout 3.
  • The content is not described in full detail on this page. For details, please see the respective articles.
  • For cultural references in other Fallout games, please see "Cultural reference."
  • For an overview of Fallout 3 content, please refer to "Portal:Fallout 3."

Contents

 
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1984[edit | edit source]

There is three references to the book Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel by George Orwell.

2001: A Space Odyssey[edit | edit source]

An active security camera from Fallout 3

The Vault-Tec Corporation Eye-On-You surveillance camera resembles the camera eye for HAL 9000 of the Discovery One from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Aliens[edit | edit source]

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Brick.jpg

There are two allusions to the 1986 film Aliens:

  • Brick is most likely inspired by Vasquez, the Marine who has the same kind of weapon, haircut and attitude.
  • The way Sally from Mothership Zeta uses the air ducts to open the alien doors is reminiscent of Rebecca "Newt" Jorden from the film.

A Boy And His Dog[edit | edit source]

There are several allusions to the book A Boy and His Dog by Harlan Ellison:

  • Some elements of inspiration have carried along all the way from Fallout 1. The vaults, the blending of 1950s America with futuristic horror, and the glowing ones are all elements that were used in A Boy and His Dog. The name Dogmeat is the most explicit reference. In the movie adaption, the lead human character calls his dog, Blood, "Dogmeat" when insulting him.
  • In Oasis, Harold calls the tree he is encased in, Bob, "Herbert" because he finds it funny and it annoys the tree. In A Boy and His Dog the dog Blood, often calls his boy, Vic, "Albert." Blood finds this funny, while Vic is annoyed by it.

AC/DC[edit | edit source]

Devil's Highway.png

The name of the perk Devil's Highway is a reference to the song Highway to Hell by AC/DC.

See also Led Zeppelin.

American Civil War[edit | edit source]

The names of several characters are references to historical aspects of the American Civil War.

Apocalypse Now[edit | edit source]

The Mister Gutsy model of robot often says, "There is nothing I like better than the smell of plasma in the morning." when in combat.[4] This is an allusion to the line "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." spoken by the character Lieutenant Colonel William "Bill" Kilgore in the movie Apocalypse Now.

The Beatles[edit | edit source]

When having Charon switch from melee combat to ranged weapons, he will make a remark which alludes to the song called "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" by The Beatles.[5]

Beneath the Planet of the Apes[edit | edit source]

In Megaton, the undetonated atomic bomb and the Children of Atom are a reference to the film Beneath the Planet of the Apes, in which a cult worships an intact nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile.

Bethesda Games[edit | edit source]

During the birthday sequence in Vault 101, Butch will attempt to take the Lone Wanderer's sweetroll that was given to them by Old Lady Palmer. This is a running scenario in Bethesda's games, particularly in the Elder Scrolls series starting with Arena during character creation.

The Bible[edit | edit source]

The Lone Wanderer's birth date, 7/13/2258, is a Biblical reference to Micah 7:13, which reads: "And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants, on account of the fruit of their deeds."[citation needed]

Big Boy Restaurants[edit | edit source]

FreddyFears.jpg

The Tall Boy statue[6] erected in Paradise Falls is modeled after the mascot of the Big Boy fast-food restaurant chains.

Billy Idol[edit | edit source]

The name of the quest A Nice Day for a Right Wedding is a play-on-words of the lyrics "It's a nice day for a white wedding" from the song "White Wedding" by Billy Idol.

Black Isle Studios[edit | edit source]

Black Isle Studios is alluded to twice:

Blade Runner[edit | edit source]

There are two references to the 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner.

Bradbury, Ray[edit | edit source]

The McClellan family townhome contains several references to the works of Ray Bradbury.

  • The location as a whole is a reference to Ray Bradbury's short story "There Will Come Soft Rains," about a robotic house in Allendale, California that still works after a nuclear war, not knowing that its owners have perished in the atomic blast. The poem that the Mister Handy recites is "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Sara Teasdale, a post-apocalyptic poem from 1920,[11] which also inspired Bradbury's story of the same name.[12]
  • "Only one living thing makes an appearance in the [Bradbury] story: a wild dog (though a family dog in later versions), which had been slowly dying from radiation poisoning. It makes its way back to the house only to die; its corpse is then swiftly removed by the house's automated cleaning robots." The dead body of the McClellans' dog Muffy can be found in the vicinity of the house exterior.[13]
  • The name of the townhome is also a reference to the McClellan family from another one of Ray Bradbury's books, Fahrenheit 451. The address "Bradley Place" is a play-on-words of Ray Bradbury's last name, while the number of 2026 is a reference to the setting of "There Will Come Soft Rains", taking place in August 2026.[14]

Chevrolet[edit | edit source]

Chrysler[edit | edit source]

The name of the company Chryslus Motors is derived from Chrysler and General Motors, both American automobile manufacturers headquartered in Michigan.

Clue[edit | edit source]

The butler in My Megaton house is a Mister Handy robot named "Wadsworth." Wadsworth the Butler is Tim Curry's character in the film Clue. Like other Mister Handy robots in Fallout 3, Wadsworth speaks in a tone and voice similar to that employed by Tim Curry in the film.

Coca-Cola[edit | edit source]

Nuka-Cola is a version of Coca-Cola in the Fallout world. The Nuka-Cola bottles, vending machines, and advertisements mirror those of the Coca-Cola brand in the 1950s.

Sierra Petrovita claims to be addicted to Nuka-Cola, a reference to the fact that the original Coca-Cola recipe included cocaine.

Nuka-Cola Quantum is likely a reference to the short-lived Coca-Cola C2 which was advertised as having "half the carbohydrates, sugars and calories" of regular Coca-Cola, an almost opposite of Quantum's advertisement of "twice the calories, twice the carbohydrates, twice the caffeine and twice the taste" of regular Nuka-Cola.

Cool Hand Luke[edit | edit source]

Rory McLaren will say, "Nobody can eat 50 eggs!" from the film Cool Hand Luke, in which the title character accepts a bet to eat 50 eggs in an hour.

Conan the Barbarian[edit | edit source]

Grognak the Barbarian is modeled after the Robert E. Howard character, Conan the Barbarian.

Crowley, Aleister[edit | edit source]

Allistair Tenpenny's first name and his nemesis, Mister Crowley are most likely a reference to the famed British occultist, Aleister Crowley.

Dewey, John/Melvil[edit | edit source]

Dean Dewey is probably named after both John Dewey, an education reformer, and Melvil Dewey, the librarian who created the Dewey Decimal System.

Dirty Harry[edit | edit source]

Callahan's Magnum refers to Dirty Harry's signature Smith & Wesson revolver, and it is also the strongest revolver in the game, fitting with Harry's quote "and it's the most powerful handgun in the world."

Similarly, the character of Harold Callahan is a reference to Clint Eastwood's character in the film, Harry Callahan.

Die Hard[edit | edit source]

Bryan Wilks, while in the Pulowski Preservation shelter during the Those! quest, says, "Now I know what a TV dinner feels like;" quotes a line from the movie Die Hard. His name also has the same initials as Bruce Willis, the actor who played John McClane, the main character in the movie.

Doctor Strangelove[edit | edit source]

Dialogue with Ronald Laren ("Crap! This has to be about the Nuka-Cola machine I got for her! It had this label on it saying "Warning: If you tamper with this unit you will have to answer to the Nuka-Cola Corporation."") and a report by Harold Callahan on General Robert Dobbs shooting a Nuka-Cola machine are similar to a scene in Doctor Strangelove involving a Coca-Cola machine.

In the movie Captain Lionel Mandrake asks Colonel Bat Guano to shoot a Coca-Cola machine to get spare change so that Mandrake can use a payphone to inform the president of the United States of General Ripper's CRM code to avert the bombers Ripper ordered to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. Guano initially refuses, saying that the machine is private property, but when Mandrake insists he shoot the machine Guano warns him that "You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola Company" before firing three times into the machine with a rifle, then gets sprayed in the face with soda while getting the change.

Dracula[edit | edit source]

Lucy West, the woman who kicks off the Blood Ties quest, is a reference to Lucy Westenra, Mina Murray's friend in Bram Stoker's Dracula.[citation needed]

Arefu is a small village in Romania, most well known for its proximity to the former castle of Vlad Tepes (aka "Dracula" and "Vlad the Impaler").

Duck and Cover[edit | edit source]

The explosives skill book Duck and Cover!, as well as posters present in the game-world, take their name and the image of Bert the Turtle from a instructional film of the same name.

Dune[edit | edit source]

Mentats in the book Dune are humans trained to function as "living computers;" Mentats in the Fallout games are a chem that temporarily increases Intelligence and Perception.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion[edit | edit source]

The utility pole behind Big Town that bears the tag "TES-04."

A utility pole with the unique identification tag "TES-04" is located along the outside of the city wall at Big Town, at the exact center of the game map.

The image used to portray "Grognak the Barbarian" is similar to the image used to portray the Barbarian class in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Ellis, Warren[edit | edit source]

Mr. Moorellis is a portmanteau of the last names of Alan Moore and Warren Ellis.

See also Alan Moore, Promethea.

Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness[edit | edit source]

One of the dialogue choices upon encountering Moira after she becomes a ghoul, is "Moira, don't take this the wrong way, but you got ugly real fast," a reference to the line from Army of Darkness.

Fallout[edit | edit source]

The title of the publication Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor is a reference to Fallout. Specifically the unmarked quest Blackmail Iguana Bob. The quest starts with Doc Morbid in Junktown, goes through Iguana Bob Frazier in the Hub, and ends with the aforementioned blackmail back in Junktown. Wherein the Vault Dweller discovered that Doc Morbid had been supplying pieces of human meat that were being sold as iguana bits.

Fawkes, Guy[edit | edit source]

When asked about his name, Fawkes says that it was the name of a man who died for what he believed in.

Fear Factory[edit | edit source]

The first log entry in the research lead terminals in the Museum of Technology contains lyrics from the song Archetype by the band Fear Factory: The infection has been removed / the soul of this machine has improved.

The mainframe is named the "Archetype Model FF06;" Archetype being the song name, FF standing for Fear Factory, and 06 being the album number.

Vocalist Burton C. Bell's name can be abbreviated to B. Bell, the researcher's name.

Flags of Our Fathers[edit | edit source]

During the Fallout 3 add-on Operation: Anchorage, a reporter is gathering a group of soldiers for a photo and says "Maybe someone will make this picture into a statue one day." This is a reference to the film Flags of Our Fathers.

Forbidden Planet[edit | edit source]

The Protectron brand of robot was modeled after Robby the Robot, the fictional character and science fiction icon who first appeared in the 1956 film Forbidden Planet.

Gorillas in the Mist[edit | edit source]

Isabella Proud's story is a reference to Dian Fossey's, the basis of the film Gorillas in the Mist.

GURPS[edit | edit source]

The word "GURPS" can appear as a password when hacking computers; this is the name of the RPG rules system that Fallout was originally planned to be based on. It would later be replaced by the SPECIAL system.

Deliriants[edit | edit source]

Jimson and Woodrose, of the Point Lookout tribals, are references to jimson weed and Hawaiian woodrose seeds respectively, which are both potent deliriants.

Harvey[edit | edit source]

The picture for the Animal Friend perk may be a reference to the play Harvey, in which the main character claims to have an unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend, Harvey, who describes as a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall anthropomorphic rabbit.

Hindu culture[edit | edit source]

The brahmin in all the Fallout games refer to the Brahmin in Hindu culture. Their use in the franchise is likely a play on the reverence held for cows in Hindu culture. This has been seen as disrespectful to the Hindu culture, and the use of the name brahmin was banned in India from Fallout 3.

Incredible Hulk, The[edit | edit source]

A Mister Gutsy says, "I'm starting to get angry. You would not like me when I'm angry." This is much like what Dr. Banner says to Mr. Mcgee in the opening sequence of the TV series The Incredible Hulk. Exact quote: "Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

The Vault Boy image for the Nerd Rage! perk looks like Bruce Banner transforming into the Hulk.

Internet culture[edit | edit source]

Moira Brown's terminal password is MB3K-OMFG; the last four characters, OMFG, are a common internet acronym for "Oh My Fucking God."

Interplay[edit | edit source]

Fallout 3 Interplay logo monument.jpg

In Chevy Chase, just outside the stairs down to Tenleytown/Friendship station, there is a small square with a monument that is a wink to Interplay (the original publishers of Fallout 1 & 2). The bronze Earth with a circling rocket appeared prominently when launching Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, Interplay's official logo.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers[edit | edit source]

In Mothership Zeta, the abominations point and scream to alert each other to hostiles, much the way the pod-people do in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

James Bond[edit | edit source]

Wint and Kidd are references to the James Bond novel and movie "Diamonds are Forever" in which Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd were assassins charged with killing James Bond.

Jefferson, Thomas[edit | edit source]

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance," and "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none;" both lines spoken by John Henry Eden, are attributed to Thomas Jefferson.

Judas Priest[edit | edit source]

In The Pitt, an armor named Leather Rebel, previously owned by a priest, is a reference to the song "Leather Rebel" by the band Judas Priest.

Legend of Zelda, The[edit | edit source]

The quest name The Legend of Zeta in the add-on Mothership Zeta is a reference to the game series for The Legend of Zelda.

Lincoln, Abraham[edit | edit source]

The karmic title "Last, Best Hope of Humanity" is a phrase which has its origin in Lincoln's closing remarks to his 1862 Annual Message to Congress, "We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth." ("Last, best hope" has since become a popular rhetorical trope.)

The final, twenty-first level in Fallout has this title in its manual, the Vault Dweller's Survival Guide.

The dog's name "Four Score" is a reference to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Abraham Washington's first name is a reference to Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln's repeater is a reference to Abraham Lincoln's Henry rifle.

Living Dead/George Romero series[edit | edit source]

The name of the quest, You Gotta Shoot 'Em in the Head refers to the rule of zombie fiction that the only way to dispatch a zombie is to destroy the brain.

Dawn of the Dead[edit | edit source]

In the The Pitt add-on, Everett says, "from here to Monroeville," which is a reference to Dawn of the Dead, a movie in which most of the action takes place in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Land of the Dead[edit | edit source]

Tenpenny Tower and its attack by ghouls is similar to Land of the Dead's Fiddler's Green, a fortress-tower owned by a wealthy elitist.

Led Zeppelin[edit | edit source]

Escalator to Heaven.png

The name of the perk Escalator to Heaven is a reference to the song Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin.

See also AC/DC.

Lost[edit | edit source]

The combination to Billy Creel's safe is 15, 16, 23, 42; which is the latter two-thirds of a recurring chain of numbers in the television show Lost.

Lovecraft, H.P.[edit | edit source]

The story told in the personal logs found in the Dunwich Building, the name of the building, and the whispering obelisk found in the Virulent Underchambers refer to Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos/setting. See The Dunwich Horror.

In Point Lookout, Obadiah Blackhall's desire to recover the Krivbeknih is much like Wilbur Whateley's attempts to get Miskatonic University's copy of the Necronomicon, also from "The Dunwich Horror." The Krivbeknih is a reference to the Necronomicon, which is a mystical grimoire in H.P. Lovecraft's works.

MacArthur, Douglas[edit | edit source]

Sergeant RL-3 says, "Old warbots never die! We just rust away." This is a reference to General Douglas MacArthur's quote, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away..."

Mad Max[edit | edit source]

Mad Max and his dog in The Road Warrior.

This image was a direct influence on the "Main Character and Dogmeat" image on the back of Fallout 3's cover and in every ending.

The Mad Max movies, starring Mel Gibson as a post-apocalyptic warrior, are a pervasive influence on the Fallout series.

One of the Little Lamplight children uses the word humongous incorrectly, saying "humungus." Though it appears incorrect, it is actually a reference to Lord Humungus, the leader of the antagonizing gang in The Road Warrior.

Another reference to Lord Humungus from Mad Max 2 is the super mutant war cry "No more games!" After Toadie loses his fingers trying to catch the Feral Kid's metal boomerang everyone laughs and to restore order Lord Humungus says: "No more games. No more games!"

Upon meeting Harkness one of his replies might be "Oh yeah? And I'm a fairy princess." This is a reference to an utterance made by Mad Max when he talks to MasterBlaster in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

The design of the leather armor in all four Fallout games is based on Mel Gibson's armor in the Mad Max series, particularly the single-sleeved armor in The Road Warrior.

Fallout 3's Dogmeat is a Blue Heeler, the same breed as Max's dog in The Road Warrior.

There is a random encounter with a character named Mel, who wears a leather jacket and sports a sawed-off shotgun. High Perception grants the information that the shotgun is unloaded. In The Road Warrior, Max (played by Mel Gibson) threatens the Gyrocaptain with his shotgun, while it was unloaded.

The raiders' style of dressing is similar to that of the various raider and biker gangs in the Mad Max films.

Medical braces are similar to those that Max wears on his left leg in the films.

The scoped .44 Magnum/Blackhawk resembles the gun used by the Lord Humungus in The Road Warrior, which was a scoped Smith & Wesson Model 29.

The outfit worn by Mayor MacCready of Little Lamplight is identical to the costume worn by Jedediah the pilot's son in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome - a pith helmet, goggles and a jacket one size too big.

The image for the perk Pitt Fighter depicts Vault Boy wearing armor identical to Blaster's armor in the film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

The arena in The Pitt resembles the Thunderdome.

The outfits worn by slaves in The Pitt resemble those worn by the slaves in Beyond Thunderdome.

Mandroid[edit | edit source]

Dr. Zimmer is probably a reference to the film Mandroid, in which Dr. Karl Zimmer is the creator of a humanoid robot.

Megadeth[edit | edit source]

The phrase "First mistake... last mistake," uttered by Pitt raiders, Wildmen and several other hostiles, is from the Megadeth song "Holy Wars" from the album Rust in Peace.

CarnEvil[edit | edit source]

The Pint-Sized Slasher is heavily based on the character who appears on the game's poster of CarnEvil, a Midway arcade videogame released in 1998.

Ministry[edit | edit source]

Fawkes says, "I only kill to know I'm alive," which is from the song "So What" by Ministry.

Moby Dick[edit | edit source]

If the Lone Wanderer visits Fort Independence and asks an Outcast named Defender Morgan, "What have you got against the Brotherhood?", she will refer to Elder Lyons as "Ahab Lyons," who "is off chasing his super mutant white whale." This is a reference to Herman Melville's Moby Dick. If the Wanderer passes an Intelligence check, they can continue the reference by inquiring as to whether Morgan believes that Lyons will be killed by the super mutants, to which Morgan expresses surprise that they have knowledge of the story.

Monty Python[edit | edit source]

Several terminals in the Museum of Technology contain notes from the lead researcher, Professor R. J. Gumbie; a reference to the Monty Python character Professor R.J. Gumby.

Squire Maxson says that he "sort of shot" Sentinel Lyons but that it's "just a flesh wound." The black knight in the Holy Grail says the same thing, after having both of his arms cut off.

Kimba's dialogue line "That's funny, I thought we were an autonomous collective," is a reference to the Holy Grail. The line is spoken to King Arthur by a woman when she is surprised to learn that there is a king.

Moore, Alan[edit | edit source]

Mr. Moorellis is a portmanteau of the last names of Alan Moore and Warren Ellis.

See also Promethea, Warren Ellis.

Music Man, The[edit | edit source]

Dr. Zimmer's line, "And he's right here in Rivet City!" is a reference to the song Trouble Right Here In River City.

Mystery Science Theater 3000[edit | edit source]

The Hubris Comics terminal entries list a comic called Drake Tungsten, Chrono-Cowboy. This is a reference to the episode Hercules Against the Moon Men.

A computer in the National Archives contains a memo from the man in charge of robot maintenance signed, P. Brantseg. Patrick Brantseg voiced Gypsy on the show and was in charge of building and maintaining the puppets, causing him to be listed in the show's credits as "puppet wrangler."

Nearby there is a footlocker, filled with servos and a dead crow, a reference to two beloved robots.

Mythology, Chinese[edit | edit source]

In Chinese mythology, Xuanlong, also known as the Black Dragon, is the highest rank of dragons of their tiered system. Thus, the Xuanlong assault rifle, is so named because it is extremely powerful, more so than ordinary Chinese assault rifles.

Mythology, Greek[edit | edit source]

Cerberus is a reference to the Cerberus of Greek mythology. While Cerberus the robot acts as a guard dog for the settlement Underworld, Cerberus of Greek mythology acts a guard dog to the gate of the Underworld.

Charon is a reference to the Charon of Greek mythology, an immortal who presides as the ferryman of Hades who carries the souls of the dead across the River Styx and Acheron.

Centaurs refer to the centaurs of Greek mythology, a mythical race of creatures that are half-man, half-horse.

Underworld is a reference to the Underworld, the last destination for souls of those recently deceased.

Mythology, Norse[edit | edit source]

The slaver that kills the bartender in Paradise Falls, Ymir, is a reference to the Norse frost giant whose body is the foundation of Midgard (the Earth). His son is called Jotun, which is the name of the race of the Norse giants, Jötunn.

A raider named Thor (the Norse god of storms and strength) is referenced by recordings found in the Dunwich Building.

The names of Desmond Lockheart's dogs Freki and Geri in Point Lookout are a reference to Odin's two wolf companions named Freki and Geri. Freki roughly translates to "ravenous," Geri to "greedy."

Neuromancer[edit | edit source]

Armitage is a common cyberpunk name since William Gibson used it for the Wintermute-controlled mercenary in his 1984 novel Neuromancer.

Occam's Razor[edit | edit source]

Occam's Razor refers to the scientific principle of the same name that describes the more simple solution is better than the more complex one.

Paradise Lost[edit | edit source]

John Milton's Paradise Lost appears in Fallout 3 as a skill-training book.

The name of the area Paradise Falls is a multiple entendre referencing Paradise Lost.

Peanuts[edit | edit source]

In the town "Little Lamplight" the doctor, Lucy, is a reference to the character "Lucy" from Charles Schultz's Peanuts. Inside of the clinic where she is located, a sign reading "The Doctor is in" can be found, which was often seen on Lucy's stand in the series.

Pittsburgh[edit | edit source]

Lulu, the woman who claims to feed the army in Uptown, is named after Lulu's noodles, a popular restaurant near the University of Pittsburgh.

The character's name, Reddup, is a Pittsburgh term meaning 'to clean.'

Duke may be named after Duquesne University.

Mex is most likely a reference to the chain of Mad Mex restaurants, which are relatively popular in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, e.g. Monroeville and Squirrel Hill.

Phantom is a reference to Pittsburgh's only amusement park, Kennywood, that has a roller coaster called "The Steel Phantom," which was later rebuilt and renamed the "Phantom's Revenge."

Squill's name is likely a reference to Squirrel Hill, a residential Pittsburgh neighborhood that Carnegie Mellon University students (though not most other Pittsburghers) call "Squill Hill" for short.

Princess Bride, The[edit | edit source]

While patching up the Lone Wanderer during the Wasteland Survival Guide personal injury sub-quest, Moira asks them to describe the pain with the line, "And remember, this is for posterity!" This echoes a line used by Count Rugin in The Princess Bride when asking Westley to describe the torture in the Pit of Despair.

Promethea[edit | edit source]

Mr. Neptura refers to the character Marto Neptura from Alan Moore's Promethea.

See also Alan Moore, Warren Ellis.

P.S. I Love You[edit | edit source]

A movie marquee in Vernon Square displays the title "P.S. I Hate You," a reference to the 2007 film P.S. I Love You.

"Raven, The"[edit | edit source]

The holodisk Box 1191 - Password backup in Point Lookout is a reference to Edgar Allen Poe's story "The Raven," specifically, the famous use of the word "nevermore."

Red Army propaganda[edit | edit source]

Comparison between real-life Red Army and Fallout 3 poster

The Civil Defense Administration poster, "Where will you be when the holocaust comes?" is modeled after a Soviet Red Army recruitment poster.

Relic Hunter[edit | edit source]

During the quest Stealing Independence, Sydney greets the Lone Wanderer as a fellow "relic hunter," making reference to the television series Relic Hunter, in which the main character is named Sydney Fox.

Road, The[edit | edit source]

hard cover

The Road is a 2006 novel by Cormac McCarthy. This post-apocalyptic story influenced Bethesda Softworks (as mentioned by Todd Howard in this interview) in their work on Fallout 3. The most overt references to the book are the hunters who peddle "strange meat" (human flesh) and the cannibals in the town of Andale.

Roosevelt, Franklin[edit | edit source]

President Eden's radio broadcasts are modeled on the 'Fireside Chats' of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Rosie the Riveter[edit | edit source]

The haircut "Wendy the Welder," available to female characters, is a reference to Rosie the Riveter, a model for working women during World War II.

Rubin, Rick[edit | edit source]

Terminal documents show that the overseer of Vault 92, the music preservation vault, was named Richard Rubin; a reference to the real-life Rick Rubin, an American record producer.

Sagan, Carl[edit | edit source]

The planetarium exhibit's pre-recorded guide in the Museum of Technology has a voice and introduction that is a reference to Carl Sagan and his Cosmos educational series.

Saving Private Ryan[edit | edit source]

Asked what she does for the Brotherhood, Knight Captain Dusk replies that she is a sniper, and then says "Put any mutie bastard within one mile of me and my rifle and well, pack it up troops... fight's over." Jackson in Saving Private Ryan makes the same remark, with 'Hitler' replacing 'mutie' as the subject.

When asked what his real name is, Knight Captain Gallows responds with "What's the pool up to?", similar to Captain Miller's response in Saving Private Ryan when a query is made regarding his occupation.

Serenity[edit | edit source]

After the Galaxy News Radio quest, Three Dog shouts "You can't stop the signal!" This is a quote from the film Serenity.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe[edit | edit source]

The Point Lookout quest "An Antique Land" is a reference to the first line of the poem "Ozymandias" by English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The name of the ship, the USS Ozymandias, is a reference to the title, and the Bysshe Company mentioned within the quest is a reference to the poet's middle name.

Sifl and Olly Show, The[edit | edit source]

One of the 911 Dispatch terminals in the Germantown police HQ contains rantings referencing the song "Llama School" from The Sifl and Olly Show. The password for a computer terminal in the same building is "Vicious Coy", the name of the Precious Roy knockoff on the X-and-O show.

Simpsons, The[edit | edit source]

Some of the radios and televisions in the wasteland are called Radiation Kings (there is also a Radiation King store in downtown D.C.), which is the name of the TV Homer had as a young boy. This easter egg was originally present in the opening movie of Fallout.

Snatcher[edit | edit source]

In the Capitol Post basement is Gibson who has been decapitated in the same manner as Jean-Jack Gibson in Snatcher.[15] On both Gibsons' bodies identical notes are found, reading, "Search the house!" in addition to a locked small model of a house in both Gibsons' homes.

There are also houses belonging to Benson and Gillian in Minefield. Benson Cunningham and Gillian Seed are the main characters of Snatcher.

Smokey the Bear[edit | edit source]

When Three Dog is talking about radiation, he says, "Remember, only you can prevent human flesh fires." This is a reference to the iconic slogan "only you can prevent forest fires."

Spam[edit | edit source]

Cram is a reference to Spam.

Starship Troopers[edit | edit source]

One of the Brotherhood of Steel soldiers spurs on his comrades by asking whether they want to live forever. The quote is similar to, "Come on, you apes, you want to live forever?" which figures prominently in Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers and its movie adaptation. That, in turn, is a reference to a quote sometimes attributed to one Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph "Dan" Daly and having an extensive history going back at least to Frederick the Great.

Star Trek[edit | edit source]

Star Trek: The Original Series[edit | edit source]

During the first fade-to-white in the opening character creation, The Overseer says, "Dammit! We need a doctor, not a deadbeat," a reference to lines in the original Star Trek in which Leonard McCoy says to Captain Kirk, "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a [profession that isn't medical]."

Dr. Preston in Rivet City will say "I'm a doctor, not a dealer!" when asked about purchasing chems.

The Adventures of Captain Cosmos takes its inspiration from Star Trek. Captain Cosmos is known to have aired at 8:00 P.M. on Thursdays (the timeslot that Star Trek filled during its first two seasons in the real world).

In the Mothership Zeta add-on, the Lone Wanderer and Sally (who is a fan of Captain Cosmos) take a diverse crew into ship-to-ship combat against another alien mothership.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan[edit | edit source]

The password for the shipping computer in the Nuka-Cola plant is NC-C1864. The call letters of the USS Reliant, the ship hijacked by Khan, were NCC-1864.

The end of the final quest Take it Back! (if the Lone Wanderer chooses to take the path of self-sacrifice) resembles Spock's self-sacrifice at the end of the movie.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home[edit | edit source]

Doctor Gillian Taylor and her whales from the movie are mentioned in a terminal (Log Entry MA-0085) on the first floor in the Museum Authority Building.

Star Trek: The Next Generation[edit | edit source]

Protector McGraw states that the Anchorage Reclamation simulation ran without "safety protocols," which meant that a person killed inside the simulation would also die in the real world. The holodecks introduced in The Next Generation had a similar safety protocol feature that was often disabled as part of an episode's plot.

Star Trek: Voyager[edit | edit source]

The robot Sawbones greets the player character with, "Please state the nature of the medical emergency," the signature phrase of the Emergency Medical hologram "The Doctor" from Star Trek: Voyager.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope[edit | edit source]

During the Mothership Zeta add-on, it is possible to enter the waste disposal area of the ship during the quest Among the Stars where Sally is found fixing an elevator. There is an optional speech option here, "what an incredible smell you've discovered," which is also Han Solo's line from the movie Episode IV: A New Hope in which the main characters find themselves in the maintenance level of the Death Star.

Sting (musician)[edit | edit source]

Terminals in Vault 92, the "musicians' vault," document a resident named Gordie Sumner; Gordon Sumner is Sting's birth name.

Strapping Young Lad[edit | edit source]

The bottom log entry on the Maintenance Department terminal in the Presidential sub level (accessed through a Broken Steel quest) references Canadian heavy metal band Strapping Young Lad's song "Detox": it mentions "the new SYL-02 Xoted mainframe" ("SYL" is short for "Strapping Young Lad", "Xoted" is "Detox" backwards, and the song appears on their second album), the entry is written by a mechanic called "D.T." (the initials of frontman Devin Townsend), and ends with quoting the lyrics to the song ("I wish that I could get to sleep and just get this over with... this is only high school bullshit. I'm lost, I'm freaking and everybody knows... everyone's watching.")

Street Fighter[edit | edit source]

When entering Little Lamplight for the first time and talking to Mayor MacCready, there is a Speech challenge that goes, "The day I showed up here is the best day of your life. For me, it was Tuesday." This references the 1994 film Street Fighter, in which M. Bison and Chun-Li are having a conversation about his murdering her father, which he doesn't remember. The phrase "For me, it was Tuesday" has since entered popular lexicon.[16]

For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.— M. Bison

Superman[edit | edit source]

The picture for the Toughness perk is similar to the Superman suit and pose.

When asked to travel to the RobCo facility by Moira Brown as part of the Wasteland Survival Guide quest, a player wearing Mechanist's costume will have the option of saying "This job will be no problem for... THE MECHANIST!" This is a reference to Superman's catchphrase "This looks like a job for Superman!"; made most famous by the 1940s animated shorts by Fleischer/Famous Studios.

Sweeney Todd[edit | edit source]

In the village of Andale the Lone Wanderer can be given a strange meat pie, which is a reference to Sweeney Todd. In Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett the downstairs neighbor, turns Sweeney Todd's victims into veal pies.

Tank Girl[edit | edit source]

The breastplates of raider ordinance armor's female counterpart, which are missile-shaped, are similar to the one Tank Girl wears in Episode 4 (Feb-89). The film adaptation also depicts similar usage.

Terminator[edit | edit source]

When talking to the slave Prosper in The Pitt add-on, one dialogue option reads, "Your Clothes. Give them to me. Now." Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in The Terminator says the same line after arriving naked from time-traveling.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day[edit | edit source]

The picture for the Cyborg perk refers to the Terminator series T-101 appearance with its face damaged.

Them![edit | edit source]

The quest Those! is a reference to the 1954 Oscar-nominated sci-fi classic Them! about giant ants, the result of nuclear testing in New Mexico.

The Thing[edit | edit source]

Mayor MacCready's full name is Robert Joseph MacCready. RJ MacReady was Kurt Russell's character in The Thing.

The Shining[edit | edit source]

In the Tenpenny Tower Third Floor Apartments, there is a trycicle in the hallway, along with bloodstains on the walls and an overturned chair. This is a reference to the movie The Shining, where the main character sees two little girls in the hallway, then blinks and they are laying butchered on the ground

Tommy James & The Shondells[edit | edit source]

Eulogy Jones' slave bodyguards Crimson and Clover are references to the song "Crimson And Clover" by the group Tommy James and the Shondells.

Transformers[edit | edit source]

One of the phrases Liberty Prime says while fully activated is "Freedom is the sovereign right of all Americans," which is similar to Optimus Prime's motto "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." While Emil Pagliarulo denied any intentional relation between Liberty Prime and Optimus Prime, he admitted he could have made the reference subconsciously, which he claimed is something that happens often.[17]

Turtledove, Harry[edit | edit source]

Turtledove Detention Camp, the military prison found in Point Lookout, is named for Harry Turtledove, a novelist famous for writing alternate history stories such as The Guns of the South and the Southern Victory/"Timeline-191" series.

United States nuclear weapons program[edit | edit source]

Fat Man was the code name for the atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan. This was changed to "Nuka Launcher" for the game's Japanese localization.

United States moon landing[edit | edit source]

When completing Head of State in favor of the Slavers, Three Dog will report on the incident with a news section on Galaxy News Radio. He closes with the phrase "One small step backwards for man, one giant evolutionary rewind for mankind..." This is a reference to U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong's quote after taking his first step on the moon. The original quote is "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

Washington, George[edit | edit source]

Abraham Washington's last name is a reference to George Washington

West Side Story[edit | edit source]

Paul Hannon Jr. has a line, "Birth to Earth, womb to tomb." This is a direct quote from the Broadway show West Side Story, in which the character is also a member of a young 50's American gang.

Wild Bill[edit | edit source]

Wild Bill and his .32 revolver in The Pitt is a reference to Wild Bill Hickok.

Wing Commander IV[edit | edit source]

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance," is said by John Henry Eden who is voiced by Malcolm McDowell and also used this line repeatedly during his performance as Sir Admiral Geoffery Tolwyn in Wing Commander IV The Price of Freedom.

Wizard of Oz, The[edit | edit source]

After completing The American Dream and convincing President Eden to self-destruct, Three Dog will report on the incident on Galaxy News Radio, opening with the phrase: "Ding, dong, the sanctimonious, self-righteous, self-proclaimed Presidential asshole is dead!" This is a reference to "Ding, dong, the witch is dead!" sung by the munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.

Wolfman Jack[edit | edit source]

The GNR DJ Three Dog has a similar on-air personality to 1950's radio icon Wolfman Jack, who was featured in the film American Graffiti.

X-Men[edit | edit source]

The perk Adamantium Skeleton is a reference to the fictional metal alloy that makes up the skeleton of Wolverine from X-Men.

On certain occasions a super mutant brute will say "We are the future." A reference to Magneto's quote about how mutants are the future of evolution.

Zen Buddhism[edit | edit source]

  • When the Lone Wanderer tries to rob Uncle Leo, his dialogue, in which he tells them the clothes are a gift and he wishes he could give the Wanderer the "wonderful moon," comes from the following Zen Buddhist koan:

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal.
Ryokan returned and caught him. "You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift."
The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.
Ryoken sat naked, watching the moon. "Poor fellow," he mused, "I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon."[1]

  • Much of the random dialogue from Fawkes can be heard as simple wasteland survival advice but also references Zen philosophy. Examples include "Be aware of the present moment" and "There is safety in mindfulness."

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Tenpenny Tower terminal entries; Cheng personal computer, Daily Affirmation
  2. Vault 92 terminal entries; Richard Rubin's terminal, Personal Entry 000897377
  3. Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test; Question_10
  4. Mister Gutsy: "There's nothing I like better than the smell of plasma in the morning!"
    (Mister Gutsy's dialogue)
  5. The Lone Wanderer: "I want you to use ranged weapons."
    Charon: "If that is what you wish, then it is what I shall do. I must say, that I find happiness in a warm gun."
    (Charon's dialogue)
  6. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p. 353: "[2E.01] Zapp's Neon Signs
    You should be instantly familiar with Zapp's actual neon signs, as the Fiends have welded many of them together to form impassable perimeter walls. The actual building is a graveyard of ancient signs, including the feet of a Tall Boy statue. Inside, expect more Fiends, and additional traps."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  7. Museum of Technology plaque: "This flag was recovered from the wreck of the U.S.S. Ebon Atoll, a U.S. Navy Missile Cruiser, sunk off the coast of Alaska in 2066 with all hands lost. The cutting edge vessel's loss was due to a nuclear torpedo strike from the U.S. Navy Submarine, the U.S.S. Interference during the Anchorage Campaign. The submarine mistook the cruiser for an enemy vessel during radio silence and sunk it before obtaining visual confirmation. This ranks as one of the most tragic disasters in U.S. Naval History since World War II."
  8. Point Lookout loading screens: "Point Lookout remained very rural and isolated until the Isla Negra real estate company purchased land and began developing new homes and attractions."
  9. People's Bank of Point Lookout terminal entries; terminal
  10. Fawkes: "Wake up... time to die!"
    (Fawkes' dialogue)
  11. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition pp.428-429: "14.06: TOWNHOME (MCCLELLAN HOUSEHOLD)
    "Read Children Bedtime Poem"
    He heads to the bunk-bed room, and reads to the two tiny skeletons:
    This is a poem by Sara Teasdale (1919). Also used in the Ray Bradury short story, "There Will Come Soft Rains" from the Martian Chronicles).
    (Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)
  12. Joel Burgess on Twitter: "So, example: I think the easter egg I'm most proud of is the McClellan house in Fallout 3. I won't detail it in full here, but it's a location full of references to Ray Bradbury, and a specific story in the Martian Chronicles."
  13. There Will Come Soft Rains at Wikipedia
  14. Joel Burgess on Twitter: "If you know the source material, the name of the family, the address, the dead dog, the poem the robot reads... all big nods to Bradbury. The house itself basically mirrors Bradbury's story. It's a glaringly obvious homage if you get the reference."
  15. https://archive.is/wip/UQOik
  16. The Greatest Day of Your Life, Tuesday at KnowYourMeme
  17. Emil Pagliarulo, "Fallout 3 Afterthoughts" on 1up.com: "Liberty Prime is kind of an interesting case. We knew we wanted to have this big, pre-war, anticommunist robot. In the original plan, he was going to be massive, and the player was going to ride in his head, anime style. And, well, yeah -- that never happened! And then there's the name.... He was actually named long before the Transformers movie, and long before Optimus Prime sort of reentered the American consciousness. Honestly, he wasn't named after Optimus Prime, as most people suspect. At least, not intentionally -- but the subconscious is powerful thing, and I pull a lot of stuff from there unintentionally."
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