Editorial MMO

10 Pop Culture References in World of Warcraft

Most developers like to sneak in easter eggs, tiny references to inside jokes and pop culture, that make players in the know smile, Blizzard is no stranger to placing pop culture references in their games as well.

World of Warcraft has a lot of pop culture references but we have included a few of our favorites in this list for you. Defining pop culture by dictionary.com as cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people. We know this is far from an exhaustive list so if any of your favorites didn’t make the cut please leave a comment so the community enjoy those too. 

Shadow Priest
Shadow priest in World of Warcraft

The Selfie Camera

Added to World of Warcraft in patch 6.1.0 after Selfies had become quite popular in social media among the “tweens” and even some adults. This allowed for role players on RP servers to role play out the toons taking “selfies” during events or even just randomly in the world. Along with this, came the integration allowing you to share directly to your twitter account on Screenshots and selfie’s that you would take. For achievement hunters, a new achievement Field Photography will become available in the game as well where you would go to different locations and take a “selfie” of your toon in said area.

Leeroy Jenkins

A self-fulfilling pop culture reference as this one originated within WoW before going viral. This has become a popular reference in World of Warcraft and there is even a “Leeroy Jenkins” achievement. You can find players all over Azeroth, with variants of this name, and many players chasing after the achievement. You can watch this video below to understand the Leeroy Jenkins reference.

Tunak Tunak Dancing

The male Draenei does some tunak tunak dancing. In case you’re unaware, Tunak Tunak dance is a parody of dancing videos based on the Punjabi love song and music video originally created by Daler Mehndi. The song was so catchy it has spun many parodies of it, and Blizzard has used it for their male Draenei’s when you /dance.

Pokemon Battles

Pet battles were brought to the game in Mists of Pandaria, but it is not required to own MoP in order to participate in the pet battles. You get to battle other players pets, NPC battle pets, battle pets in the world that aren’t owned by anyone. This also allows you to level up both yourself and your pets.

Pet Battle, Pokemon
Pet Battle

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd is a popular literary figure turned stage show and movie. The fictional barber, who also happens to be a serial killer, is infamous. When adding a barber to World of Warcraft, Blizzard dubbed him Sween Neetod in the beta. While they did not keep that name, opting instead to call him Jelinek Sharpshear, they did not remove the skeletons on the second floor of Stormwind’s barber shop a nod to the Barber of Fleet Street. Near one of the tables, under the floor board, you can clearly see two skeletons.

Danica Patrick, Nascar Race Car Driver

The first Nascar female driver is referenced in World of Warcraft. The Horde flight master at Light’s breach in Northrend is named Danica Saint. This is a reference to “Saint Danica.” Patrick has been known as the Patron Saint of Vintage Snowmobiles. She even bares a resemblance with the exception of her nose ring.

Danica Saint, Danica Patrick, Light's Breach, Flight Master
Danica Saint, Flight Master Light’s Breach

Paris Hilton

Haris Pilton is an NPC in lower shattrath that even has a little doggie running around the inn she stays at. She sells some really expensive items, one being a bag and you can even get some achievements for said items. The blood elf NPC is even said to look slightly similar to the real Paris Hilton.

The Legend of Zelda

There is an NPC in Un’goro Crater that seems to have lost his memory. You are tasked with helping him to remember. His name is Linken and the entire quest chain for him is all referenced to The Legend of Zelda series.

Linken in World of Warcraft

Hoggle, The Labyrinth

Hoggle is a character in a movie called The Labyrinth which featured David Bowie as the Goblin King. This character is referenced in Ironforge/Stormwind. The Deep Run Tram is where you will find Haggle. He even has a quest where you catch rats for him.

Robin Williams

It is no secret, Robin Williams was an avid World of Warcraft player. He touched the hearts and souls of many and after his death, Blizzard placed an “in-game memorial” to Willaims in the game. You can find him in Nagrand. Visit the island in the South Sea just south of Grommashar in Draenor’s Nagrand.The entire island is filled with references to Williams’s career but you will find this one near the large broken egg. Here there with a collection of items under a tree, one of which is the lamp labeled the “Ever-Burning Lamp”. Click on it, and he appears as the Genie

Robin williams memorial
Robin, the genie in World of Warcraft

Are there any favorite pop culture references you enjoy in World of Warcraft? Which ones are your favorite? Share with us in the comments below or talk to us on FacebookTwitter, or on our forums!

About the author

Catherine Brody

34 years old, with a passion for playing video games., My primary video games are World of warcraft & The Sims 4, but I enjoy trying out new games, my husband is a disabled vet. Been married for 10 years, have 3 children, 4 cats, 1 dog, I live in Hampton, VA attended DeVry University for a bachelor's degree in Multimedia Design & Development with a focus in Graphic Arts & design

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