Do you often find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to read, watch or listen to? I do. Or at least I did, until I read “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. The book is packed with references and allusions to novels, authors, films, directors, bands and songs for folks raised in the 70s, 80s or 90s (and with a slight geeky touch maybe).

Due to “Ready Player One” being a novel (and one of the best science fiction novels in the last years!), there is quite an amount of text around the actual references. I made the effort to extract every reference and allusion I could find and compiled the following list. The page number refers to the first page (in the first edition of the book) where I have found the reference.

If you find something wrong or missing, you can contribute by creating a Git pull request for your changes to the data file that is used to generate the list below. If you don’t understand what I just wrote, you can also just email me your changes :-). Now enjoy!

Page Reference Tags Comment
1 Ghostbusters Movie "dogs and cats living together ... mass hysteria!"
2 Oingo Boingo – Dead Man's Party Music, Song
2 Space Invaders Video Game
3 John Hughes Director
3 Heathers Movie
4 The Muppet Show TV Series
5 Adventure Video Game Atari 2600
6 Jeff Easley Dungen Masters's Guide Painting Painting, RPG
13 Asteroids Video Game
13 Defender Video Game
13 Galaga Video Game
14 Family Ties TV Series
14 Robotron: 2084 Video Game
15 Green Lantern Comic Book
15 Superman Comic Book "Clark Kent"
15 The Amazing Spider-Man Comic Book
15 The X-Men Comic Book
15 Sesame Street TV Series
22 Star Wars Movie "Jedi"
22 Cosmos TV Series
22 BurgerTime Video Game
22 Donkey Kong Video Game
22 Pitfall! Video Game
25 Batman Comic Book "Batcave"
25 Star Trek TV Series
26 The Last Starfighter Movie "You have been recruited..."
27 Monty Python's Holy Grail Movie
31 Terminator 2 Movie "T-1000"
36 Ferris Bueller's Day Off Movie
36 Pretty in Pink Movie
36 Sixteen Candles Movie
36 Some Kind of Wonderful Movie
36 The Breakfast Club Movie
36 Weird Science Movie
37 Dragon Magazine, RPG
38 Duran Duran – Wild Boys Music, Song
39 Gary Gygax Author "Gygax" (Planet)
39 Contra Video Game
39 Golden Axe Video Game
39 Heavy Barrel Video Game
39 Ikari Warriors Video Game
39 Smash TV Video Game
40 Starlog Magazine Magazine
40 Caravan of Courage Movie
40 Ewoks: The Battle for Endor Movie
40 Ladyhawke Movie
40 Airplane! Movie "And don't call me Shirley."
40 Astrosmash Video Game
40 Tron: Deadly Discs Video Game
41 Highlander II Movie
41 Krull Movie
41 Superman: The Movie Movie
41 The Goonies Movie
41 WarGames Movie
41 Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi Movie, Poster
41 Alan Parsons Project Music, Band
43 Swordquest: Earthworld Video Game
44 Swordquest Comic Book
44 Swordquest: Airworld Video Game
44 Swordquest: Fireworld Video Game
44 Swordquest: Waterworld Video Game
46 Spaced TV Series
48 Fantastic Voyage Movie
48 Battlestar Galactica TV Series
49 The Matrix Movie
49 Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonriders of Pern" series Novel "Pern"
49 Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Novel "Magrathea"
49 Dune Novel "Arrakis"
49 Larry Niven – Ringworld Novel "Ringworld"
49 Lord of the Rings Novel "Middleearth"
49 Philip José Farmer's "Riverworld" series Novel "Riverworld"
49 Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series Novel "Mid-World"
49 Terry Pratchet's "Discworld" series Novel "Discworld"
49 Firefly TV Series
49 Everquest Video Game
49 World of Warcraft Video Game
52 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Movie
53 Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook RPG, Handbook
56 Back to the Future Trilogy Movie
62 Alfred Bester Author
62 Bruce Sterling Author
62 Douglas Adams Author
62 J. R. R. Tolkien Author
62 Jack Vance Author
62 Joe Haldeman Author
62 John Scalzi Author
62 Kurt Vonnegut Author
62 Michael Moorcock Author
62 Neal Stephenson Author
62 Neil Gaiman Author
62 Orson Scott Card Author
62 Ray Bradbury Author
62 Richard K. Morgan Author
62 Robert A. Heinlein Author
62 Roger Zelazny Author
62 Stephen King Author
62 Terry Brooks Author
62 Terry Pratchett Author
62 William Gibson Author
62 Cameron Director
62 Del Toro Director
62 Fincher Director
62 Gilliam Director
62 Jackson Director
62 Kevin Smith Director
62 Kubrick Director
62 Lucas Director
62 Quentin Tarantino Director
62 Steven Spielberg Director
62 Better Off Dead Movie
62 Indiana Jones Trilogy Movie
62 Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Movie
62 Lord of the Rings Trilogy Movie
62 Mad Max Trilogy Movie
62 Real Genius Movie
62 Revenge of the Nerds Movie
62 Monty Python's Flying Circus TV Series
63 G-Force Movie
63 Gamera Movie
63 Go, Speed Racer, Go Movie
63 Godzilla Movie
63 Akalabeth Movie
63 Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning Music, Song
63 Bon Jovi Music, Band
63 Clash Music, Band
63 Def Leppard Music, Band
63 Devo Music, Band
63 Journey Music, Band
63 Midnight Oil Music, Band
63 Pink Floyd Music, Band
63 Police Music, Band
63 R.E.M. Music, Band
63 They Might Be Giants Music, Band
63 Van Halen Music, Band
63 Bill Hicks Stand-Up Comedy
63 H.R. Pufnstuf TV Series
63 Airwolf TV Series
63 Knight Rider TV Series
63 Misfits of Science TV Series
63 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine TV Series
63 Star Trek: Enterprise TV Series
63 Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Series
63 Star Trek: The Original Series TV Series
63 Star Trek: Voyager TV Series
63 The A-Team TV Series
63 The Greatest Amercian Hero TV Series
63 The Simpsons TV Series
63 The Space Giants TV Series
63 G.I. Joe TV Series, Cartoon
63 He-Man TV Series, Cartoon
63 Land of the Lost TV Series, Cartoon
63 Schoolhouse Rock! TV Series, Cartoon
63 Thundarr the Barbarian TV Series, Cartoon
64 Jeopardy! TV Series
64 Akalabeth Video Game
64 Zaxxon Video Game
66 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons RPG
66 Car Wars RPG
66 Champions RPG
66 Dungeons & Dragons – Tomb of Horrors RPG
66 Rolemaster RPG
68 Schoolhouse Rock!: Verb! You're What's Happening Music, Song
73 Doctor Who TV Series
77 Hawk the Slayer Movie
77 The Beastmaster Movie
80 Super Friends TV Series, Cartoon
80 Joust Video Game
82 Heavy Metal Magazine
84 Dungeons & Dragons TV Series, Cartoon
84 John Williams's Star Wars Score - The Throne Room and End Title Music, Movie Score
85 Dungeons of Daggorath Video Game
87 Mad Max 2 Movie "Road Warrior"
88 Highlander Movie
90 She-Ra TV Series
95 Rain Man Movie
96 Centipede Video Game
96 Ms. Pac Man Video Game
101 Riptide TV Series
102 Footloose Movie
102 John Cougar Mellencamp Music, Artist
103 Combat Video Game
103 E.T Video Game
103 Kaboom Video Game
103 Star Raiders Video Game
103 Starmaster Video Game
103 The Empire Strikes Back Video Game
103 Yars' Revenge Video Game
104 Rush Music, Band
105 Basil Oledouris: Conan the Barabarian Music, Movie Score
105 Bedlam Video Game
105 Madness and the Minotaur Video Game
105 Pyramid Video Game
105 Raaka-tu Video Game
107 2010 Movie
107 Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra Music, Movie Score
108 Bleepers – Video Feever Music, Song
114 Risky Business Movie
119 The Dark Crystal Movie
128 Spiderman Comic Book "Peter Parker"
135 Phantasm Series? Movie
164 Max Headroom TV Series "Bryce Lynch"
174 Romeo and Juliet Novel "Romeo"
175 The Goonies Movie
177 Evil Dead Trilogy Movie
177 Fight Club Movie
177 Addams Family TV Series
178 Rock Horror Picture Show Movie, Musical
179 Meat Loaf Music, Band
180 Men Without Hats – We Can Dance If We Want To Music, Song
180 Simon & Simon TV Series
180 Whiz Kids TV Series
181 Buckaroo Banzai Movie
182 Neuromancer Novel
183 Duran Duran – Union of the Snake Music, Song
183 New Order – Blue Monday Music, Song
184 Billy Idoy – Rebel Yell Music, Song
185 Plastic Man Comic Book
185 Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time Music, Song
187 L.A. Style – James Brown is Dead Music, Song
189 Blondie – Atomic Music, Song
190 Wham – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Music, Song
195 Buck Rogers TV Series
195 Silver Spoons TV Series
197 Vision Quest Movie
197 Plimsouls – A Million Miles Away Music, Song
197 John Waite – Change Music, Movie Score
199 They Might Be Giants – Don't Let's Start Music, Song
200 Falco Music, Artist
202 Kikaider TV Series
202 Spectreman TV Series
202 Supaidaman TV Series
203 Say Anything Movie "In Your Eyes", Boombox
203 Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes Music, Song
203 DynaGirl TV Series
203 Electra Woman TV Series
203 Isis TV Series
203 Square Pegs TV Series
203 Wonder Woman TV Series
204 Ultraman TV Series
213 Through the Looking-Glass Novel "Vorpal Bastard Sword"
216 Star Wars Video Game 1983, Atari
217 Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me Music, Song
217 Def Leppard – Hysteria Music, Album
217 Battlezone Video Game
218 Spacewar! Video Game
218 Tennis for Two Video Game
220 Bryan Adams – Kids Wanna Rock Music, Song
220 Dig Dug Video Game
222 Dokken Music, Band
222 Buckner & Garcia – Pac-Man Fever Music, Song
225 Zork Video Game
226 Colossal Cave Adventure Video Game
236 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Movie
241 Cowboy Bebop TV Series
249 Blade Runner Movie
250 Philip K. Dick Author
252 John Woo Director
252 Hard Boiled Movie
252 The Killer Movie
254 Black Tiger Video Game
254 Crime Fighters Video Game
257 Godzilla vs. Megalon Movie "Jet Jaguar"
257 The Iron Man Novel "the Iron Giant"
257 Gogantor TV Series
257 Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot TV Series
257 Macross TV Series
257 Mazinger Z (Tranzor Z) TV Series
257 Mobile Suit Gundam TV Series
257 Spider-Man (Supaidaman) TV Series
260 Rush – 2112 Music, Album
263 Excalibur Movie
269 Conan the Barbarian Movie "Crom,strong in his mountain"
269 Explorers Movie
277 THX 1138 Movie
290 Brazil Movie "Sam Lowery"
308 Schoolhouse Rock! - 3 (Three) is a Magic Number Music, Song
328 AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Music, Song
330 Brave Raideen TV Series
332 Neon Genesis Evangelion TV Series
332 Robotech TV Series
332 Voltron: Defender of the Universe TV Series
333 Short Circuit Movie
344 Roadrunner TV Series
348 Twilight Zone TV Series
350 William Shakespeare Author
350 William Shakespeare – The Tempest Novel
350 Gorf Video Game
350 Q*Bert Video Game
350 Tempest Video Game
351 Rush – Subdivisions Music, Song

Other existing lists

I began this list without checking the internet for existing lists (I was offline on vacation). When I finally did, I found a impressively thorough list on shmoop. That list, however, contains some types of pop cultural references like clothing, food, etc. and thus is outside the scope of the list I intended. The shmoop list has additional links, though, which is pretty helpful.

There are at least two lists of movies referenced in the book, one is on Letterboxd and one is on IMDb.

The soundtrack to the book has been compiled over at Castle Anorak.


  • Links to IMDb, Wikipedia, etc. for each item
  • Page numbers are OK, but an additional reference using the chapter.paragraph notation the shmoop list uses would be great too