List of pop culture references in the Halo series
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
This is a list of pop culture references in the Halo series. For a list of references to the Halo series made by other works, see here.
2001: A Space Odyssey
In Halo: The Thursday War, Evan Phillips requests the Black-Box fragment to "drop the sorry-Dave-I-can't-do-that crap" in response to the latter's malfunctioning while stranded in the Temple of the Abiding Truth. This is referring to the famous line by the AI HAL 9000.
The Halo universe, particularly Halo: Combat Evolved, has been heavily influenced by the film Aliens in terms of story, characters, designs, and technology. In addition, a number of direct references are made to the Alien franchise throughout the Halo series.
When picking up a Spartan Laser, Dutch will occasionally shout "Don't nobody cross my stream!". This is a reference to the proton beams in the Ghostbusters films, which would theoretically annihilate the entire universe if crossed with one another.
The Halo 3 multiplayer level The Pit was referred to as "Cyberdyne" during its production. The name references Cyberdyne Systems of the Terminator series.
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
In Halo Wars, Marines will occasionally shout "We don't need no stinking Spartans!", a reference to famous misquote "We don't need no stinking badges!" In reality, the line is a combination of "We don't need no badges" and "I ain't got to show you no stinking badges!"
The frequently-used movie stock sound effect known as the "Wilhelm Scream" appears several times in the Halo series:
Marines can be heard saying 'Frak', the trademark expletive of the show. The novel Halo: Cryptum also shows several parallels to the reimagined version of the show, such as a highly-advanced human civilization forced after warfare to live without technology on Earth, further enhanced by both taking place 150,000 years before the present day.
The Dukes of Hazzard
Firefly and Serenity
Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel written by William Golding in 1954. It discusses how culture created by man fails and how man shall always turn to barbarism, using parallels of a group of school-boys stuck on a deserted island who unsuccessfully try to govern themselves and consequently have disastrous results, leading to many acts of horrible barbarism and deaths. CPO Mendez and Kurt-051 had both read the book some time before beginning the training of the first generation of SPARTAN-III soldiers in 2531. Mendez fears that the results of training hundreds of child soldiers would be similarly disastrous, but Kurt disagrees, believing he would provide the leadership to make the SPARTAN-IIIs successful.
Man in the Iron Mask
The Man in the Iron Mask is a novel written by Alexander Dumas in 1850. Catherine Halsey has read the novel. Remembering the terror she had felt as the noble prisoner had been encased in a metal shell, Halsey wondered how the Master Chief coped with the constant enclosure of his suit.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is referenced in the quote displayed in the header of I Love Bees (Blog): "One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug."
In Dr. Halsey's personal journal, Halsey mentions her father recited every "adventurous tale of L. Frank Baum's Oz" to her when she was a child.
Run Silent, Run Deep
The nineteenth of the Mayday Texts includes the quote "got to run silent. got to run deep", which alludes to Edward L. Beach's Run Silent, Run Deep, a World War II submarine story based on Moby-Dick.
Skylark of Valeron
The word "Needler" came from Skylark of Valeron by E. E. "Doc" Smith, a pioneer in science fiction.
In Halo 5: Guardians, if the player selects Yabda as the announcer, plays a Warzone match, and has their teammates die to Promethean Knight bosses (e.g. Knight Headsman), Yabda may say "That Knight's knee-deep in dead human! What?", which is a reference to "Knee-Deep in the Dead", the first episode in Doom.
Prince of Persia
In the axon shipwrecked, Kamal Zaman says "People think time is a river that flows in one direction, but time is an ocean." This is a reference to "Some say time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction, but I have seen the face of time and I can tell you they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm." said by the Prince in Prince of Persia. Both characters are voiced by Yuri Lowenthal.
Guns N' Roses
Rarely in Halo: Combat Evolved, or while having the IWHBYD skull on in Halo 3, some Grunts will say "We are the champions," which is the name of a song by Queen. In 2014, 343 Industries released a trailer setting gameplay footage from the Master Chief Collection to We Will Rock You, using sound effects from the games to recreate the song.