While brimming with lore from the DC Universe, both from the comics and movies, DC Universe Online has many pop-culture references as well.
- One of the security robots in the JLA Containment Facility Alert declares, "Number 5, alive." Which is a call back to the slogan "Johnny 5 is alive." from the 1986 film Short Circuit.
- The appearance of Oa is actually based off of the 2011 Green Lantern (film) instead of the comics.
- The Tiger Eye quote "Meat's back on the menu!", is an allusion to the quote "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!" from the movie Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
- When found during the Cosmic Treadmill: Flashback Duo, Ambush Bug sometimes makes a reference to the time traveling movie trilogy Back to the Future.
- The majority of the sayings when winning a flight race are quotes from the movie Top Gun.
- During the Old S.T.A.R. Labs mission for villains, some of the S.T.A.R. Labs soldiers will exclaim "We need a bigger gun!" when facing the player-turned-gorilla. This quote alludes to the similar quote "We need bigger guns." in the 1998 movie remake Godzilla.
- In the Cosmic Treadmill: Flashback Duo, enemies drop an item call Gray's Sports Almanac. This is a reference to Back to the Future Part II where a sports almanac under the same name was central to the plan of the movie's primary antagonist.
- The title of the League of Assassins Stronghold speed feat: Go Ninja Go Ninja Go, is the chorus of the Ninja Rap; a popular rap song by Vanilla Ice that was predominantly featured in the live-action film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze.
- The police in the GCPD Special Crimes Unit and the East End Regal Hotel will sometimes mutter, "I'm getting too old for this stuff". This was a catch phrase in the Lethal Weapon movie series.
- One of the gluttonous citizens during the Sin Demons storyline exclaims "Get in my belly." A popular line originating from the Austin Powers movies.
- The appearance of Ace Chemicals is actually based off of the Batman (1989 film) instead of the comics.
- When you release the Two-Face's goons on Old Gotham Subway, you can hear Two-Face say: "Feeling lucky punk?", a reference to Dirty Harry, a famous movie of 1971.
- On the front of Metropolis General Hospital you can hear the LexCorp's Agents say: "Go ahead punk, make my day", another reference to Dirty Harry.
- One of the combat quotes of the Steelworks Robot (Green) is "I'm afraid I can't let you do that .....Dave." This line is famously said by the rampant A.I. HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey (film).
- One of the combat quotes of Raven's Evil Soul Projection in the Gotham Wastelands is "You are not my father!". A quote often used to refer to the revelation of Darth Vader being the father of Luke Skywalker in the movie Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
- A audio tag in the Ace Chemical plant..joker quotes Hannibal
Television, Anime and CartoonsEdit
- During the instance in Metropolis where the H.I.V.E. attempts to steal exobytes in the Metropolis Metrodome, some of the hypnotized guards mutter "Hail to the hypno pollen." Which is a call-back to the slogan "Hail to the Hypno Toad." from the television series Futurama.
- By speaking to her repeatedly in the Watchtower, Raven warns the player not to let Cyborg and Beast Boy goad them into playing a game of Stank Ball; a game with rules similar to dodgeball involving a pile of old, stinky socks and underwear rolled up into a volleyball-sized ball. Stank Ball was first shown during episode 32 of the Teen Titans cartoon series, where Beast Boy and Cyborg tried to invite Raven into being their umpire for the "Lightning Round" of the game.
- The Smallville Crows High School football team, mentioned on the high school sign in Smallville, first appeared in the Smallville television series.
- The music that plays during the fight against the OMACed Bat Family in the Batcave: Outer Caverns raid is a rendition of the Justice League (TV series) animated series theme song.
- One of the hairstyles consisting of a small afro and sideburns is called "The Hyde", a reference to the character from the TV Show That 70's Show.
- Another of the hairstyles consisting of an afro with a beard is called "Happy Painter"; a reference to television painting show host, Bob Ross; well known for other catchphrases he used while painting "happy little trees."
- Another of the hairstyle choices consisting of a mohawk with a full beard is called "Soldier of Fortune", a reference to Mr. T and his role on The A-Team.
- By speaking to him repeatedily in the Watchtower, Aquaman will mention how "sharks get a whole week", a reference to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. He will also mention that he has one advisor and says "Who needs an entourage?", a possible reference to the series Entourage.
- Klarion and Teekl's appearances are based on their appearance in the Young Justice television series.
- Some of the members of Bane's Streetgang periodically exclaim "THE JUICE IS LOOSE!", although contextualized to refer to the liquid drug Venom, the catchphrase is also a reference to a sports documentary made in 1974 about O. J. Simpson (sometimes refered to as "The Juice") called O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose.
- When you play as The Joker on legends, sometimes you can hear him say: "Nobody calls me the space cowboy, or the gangster of love for that matter!!"; a reference to a famous song of 1973 ["Some people call me the space cowboy, some people call me the gangster of love"], The Joker by Steve Miller Band.
- In Joker's Funhouse, as a villain there's a side quest (that the objective is burn some cops) called "Burn, baby burn", a reference to a song called "Burn, baby burn" famous by Ash.
Other Video GamesEdit
- During the JLA Containment Facility Alert, Hawkman cries "FOR THE LEAGUE!!", which can be construed as a call-back to the slogan "FOR THE HORDE!!" from the MMORPG World of Warcraft.
- Various Demons in the chain of Trygon/Demon Incursion missions will shout "All your souls are belong to us!", a reference to an oft-quoted line ["All your base are belong to us"] from the poorly-translated fighter game Zero Wing.
- In the S.T.A.R. Labs Research Facility Alert, when the player is transporting the remainders of the Scion of Fear, a computerized voice says "If you become lightheaded from thirst, feel free to pass out." This is a direct line spoken by the villainess GLaDOS in the video game Portal.
- During St. Patrick's Day Race,Mr. Mxyzptlc says "Do a Barrel Roll!", which is a catch-phrase originating from the Star Fox videogame series.
- The quote "A dry-lander approaches!", exclaimed by Mutineers onboard Mutineer Atlantean Frigates, is an allusion to the announcement "A challenger approaches!", which appears in most arcade fighting games when a bonus character appears to battle the player.
- By collecting all pieces of the Vengeance PvP armor set, the player achieves the feat "That's Omerta", undoubtly a reference to the first free-to-play MMORPG Omerta.
Books, Comics/Manga and MagazinesEdit
- During the Coast City alert, Green Lantern Willfull Recruits will sometimes exclaim "I am the law!"; a quote most often said by comicbook hero and justice enforcer Judge Dredd.
- Big Belly Burgers is a parody of the real-world Big Boy franchise.
- Planet Krypton is presumably the DC comics rendition of the themed restaurant chain, Planet Hollywood. It was originally shown in the Elseworlds comic series Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross.
- Levitz Cameras is presumably the DC comics rendition of the real-world U.S. store, Ritz Cameras.
- It is presumed that Galaxy Broadcast System is based on the real-world WTBS
- Sun Doller Coffee is presumably the DC comics rendition of the coffee chain, Starbucks.
- Yap is presumably the DC comics rendition of the clothing chain, Gap.
- Stacy's is presumably the DC comics rendition of the real-world U.S. store, Macy's.
- One of the hair styles available is an afro with a beard called the "Happy Painter", this is a reference to Bob Ross who also had an afro and beard and was an artist whose catch phrase always included "happy" thus he was the happy painter.
- In the Ellsworth Memorial Hospital arc, two police officer side-mission vendors are named after actors Adam West and Michael Keaton, two popular actors who portrayed Batman in live action television series and movies respectively.
- Within the Joker's Funhouse is a police officer side-mission vendor named Officer Reeves; named after the actor George Reeves who portrayed Superman in a live action television series in the 1950s.
- One consumable available while the Halloween seasonal event The Witching Hour is called Treat: Snackers Candy Bar which almost reads and sounds like the Snickers candy bar.