25 Awesome Pop Culture Influences On Warcraft You Might Not Have Noticed Before

Posted by , Updated on November 22, 2022

Warcraft is easily one of the most anticipated films of the year for a few reasons. To begin with, it is the first film directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son) in more than five years. His successful first films, Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011), pleasantly surprised movie fans and critics alike. More important, however, is that this is the first time World of Warcraft—arguably the most commercially successful online video game in history with more than 110 million players worldwide—has found its way to the big screen.

Along with the highly anticipated release of Assassin’s Creed (another video game adaptation that we will see for the first time on the big screen before the end of the year), Warcraft is the only remotely big-budget “original” at the moment, in the sense that it’s not a sequel, prequel, remake, or reboot of a film or project that has been seen again and again in theaters. As most avid players wait to see whether Warcraft will break the curse of the video game turned epically bad film, (Remember Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, and Mortal Combat?) we have collected 25 Awesome Pop Culture Influences on World of Warcraft that will open the eyes of many gamers who probably haven’t noticed or paid little attention to until now.

Featured image: youtube


The NPC (Non-Player Character) in the Lower City that gives the daily cooking quest is named Rokk and is based on WWE superstar and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, whose tagline as a wrestler was “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?”

The RockSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

The innkeeper in Thrallmar (Hellfire) is called Floyd Pinkus; his name was inspired by the legendary rock band Pink Floyd.

Pink FloydSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

The bankers in Ironforge are named Barnum Stonemantle, Bailey Stonemantle, and Soleil Stonemantle. Their names were inspired, of course, by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Cirque du Soleil.

Barnum & Bailey PosterSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

In the expansion in the World’s End Tavern in Shattrath City, you can find a girl named Harris Hilton hanging around with her dog Tinkerbell, an obvious reference to multimillionaire Paris and her dog Tinkerbell.

Paris HiltonSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

In Un’Goro Crater, you will meet a funny-looking quest giver named Ringo who gives out a quest called “With a Little Help From My Friends.” In case you didn’t know, "With a Little Help from My Friends” is a song by the Beatles, while the game’s quest giver takes his name from one of the band members, Ringo Starr.

The BeatlesSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

The island off the coast of Dustwallow Marsh is called Alcaz and even contains a huge gate-like prison. The influence from the world’s most famous prison, Alcatraz, can easily be spotted in this case.

AlcatrazSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

There is a lumberjack in Elwynn Forest named Terry Palin. He takes his name from Terry Jones and Michael Palin, members of Monty Python, who were famous for “The Lumberjack Song.”

Monty PythonSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

In the dungeon Uldaman, found in the Badlands, you can see three Vikings named Erik, Baelog, and Olaf. This is an obvious reference to the three Vikings in the 1992 video game The Lost Vikings.

The lost vikingsSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

In the Alliance city of Theramore in Dustwallow Marsh, there is a fishmonger named “Dirty” Michael Crowe who works on the dock, which is a reference to Mike Rowe, the host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs (2005).

Mike RoweSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

If you look closely in the Badlands around the middle of the map, you might find a semi-hidden crypt. If you enter the crypt you will most likely see a decomposed guy sitting on a throne with a sword at his side, which is a clear reference to the first Conan film.

Conan The BarbarianSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

In the Lower City of Shattrath, among the Horde battlemasters is Keldor the Lost, an obvious reference to He-Man’s main antagonist, Skeletor, whose name as a human used to be Keldor, too.

He-Man MastersSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

One of the prizes in the Scarlet Monastery quest “Into the Scarlet Monastery” is the Sword of Omen. As you may know by now, the prize got its name from Lion-O’s Sword of Omens in ThunderCats.

ThundercatsSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Deviantart

The Swamp of Sorrows, which stands on the eastern side of Azeroth, is a clear reference to the Swamp of Sadness in the fantasy film The NeverEnding Story.

The NeverEnding StorySource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

Do you remember the super-smart Grand Master Engineer in the Zangarmarsh zone? Well, the reason he is called Mack Diver is thanks to our favorite ’80s TV hero MacGyver.

MacGyverSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

In Un’Goro Crater, there are two brothers named Larion and Muigin who wear plumbers’ clothing. Needless to say, the super-famous Nintendo brothers Mario and Luigi were the main inspiration behind them. Also, the consumable Red-Speckled Mushrooms in the game are an object the developers of Warcraft got inspired to create based on the classic mushrooms in Super Mario.

Super MarioSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

Sentinel Hill, which is the central militia base in Westfall, is also where Yog-Sothoth (a cosmic entity in the fictional Cthulhu Mythos and Dream Cycle) is summoned in H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.”

Dunwich HorrorSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

The Six Demon Bag (found on level 51) is clearly a gesture to John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China, in which the sorcerer Egg Shen’s six demon bag had the power to blast enemies with “wind, fire, and all that kind of thing!”

Big Trouble in Little ChinaSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

The three bankers in Stormwind are named Olivia, Newton, and John, named after the Aussie blond beauty of the seventies and eighties, Olivia Newton-John.

Olivia Newton-JohnSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

In the entrance to the Mana Tombs, there is a shady dealer by the name of Slim. The developers have openly admitted that the creator of this character was a huge fan of Eminem, or Slim Shady, as many of you might refer to him.

EminemSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

In Tanaris and Booty Bay, there are Goblin engineers named Lafhorg and Scooty. In case you were wondering, yep, this didn’t happen by accident but in honor of Star Trek’s chief engineers Geordi La Forge and Scotty.

Star TrekSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

In the newest high-level dungeon, Naxxramas, you might spot a cat running around named Mr. Bigglesworth. As the games developers have stated, this cat is a clear reference to Dr. Evil’s cat in the Austin Powers flicks.

Austin PowersSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

Of course an epic film like Star Wars, which has influenced millions of people worldwide for almost forty years, couldn’t fail to be on the list of Warcraft’s many inspirations. In the Shimmering Flats, if you peek around a little, you will most likely find a goblin race team with a very familiar-looking vehicle—Blizzard’s version of Sebulba’s podracer from Episode I.

Star WarsSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Pixabay

One of the mini bosses of the Defias Brotherhood in Westfall is named Benny Blaanco. This character takes his name from the gang leader (portrayed by John Leguizamo) in the movie Carlito’s Way.

John LeguizamoSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

In Dalaran, at the top of the Violet Citadel tower, there is an NPC named Alfred Copperworth, a character who was based on the legendary Alfred Pennyworth from the Batman comics.

Michael CainSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: Wikipedia

The War Quarter that one can find while in the Undercity is where the Forsaken military is based and is also home to the city’s priest and warrior guilds. There’s also a Fight Club where you can meet two NPC fighters named Edward and Tyler, named, of course, after the main characters (with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in the main roles) of the 1999 film Fight Club.

Fight ClubSource: warcraft.com, imdb.com, Image: YouTube

SEE ALSO: 25 Of The World's Most Venomous Snakes »


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