List of real world references
From Dragon Ball Encyclopedia
The following is a list of real world references.
- In the chapter "...And Into the Fire!", Puar curiously addresses the fact that Yamucha was not bothered by his encounter with Chichi to which he responds, "...That child!? Do you think I have a Lolita complex?" This is a reference to the 1955 novel Lolita, infamous for its controversial subject wherein the narrator and protagonist becomes obsessed with a 12-year-old girl.
- In the chapter "Kame Kame Kame Kame Kame Chameleon" (itself a reference to the Culture Club song Karma Chameleon), Puar references Hawaiian king Kamehameha I when confusing the Dragon Ball technique with "some old king of Hawaii." In fact, this is the likeness after which mangaka Akira Toriyama's wife suggested the technique be named after.
- At the conclusion of the episode "Boss Rabbit's Magic Touch" and the chapter "Carrot Top", Monster Carrot and his subordinates are bound and taken to the Moon by Son Goku where they continue to live making treats for children. This is an allusion to "The Rabbit in the Moon", a Japanese folk tale where rabbits live on the moon making cookies.
- Also in the English "Carrot Top" chapter, two gangsters of the Rabbit Mob repeat the phrase "We're not worthy" twice to their leader, Monster Carrot, as an excuse for their defeat by Goku. This wording is likely a reference to the 1992 film Wayne's World (although the chapter had been originally published in 1986, it was not until 2003 that it was localized by Viz Media).
- In the chapter "At Last... the Dragon!", Pilaf references Toriyama's previous manga series, Dr. Slump, in response to vulgar humor from his underling, Mai. Pilaf also breaks the fourth wall with his remarks that, "You know we do not appreciate vulgar humor here [...] Especially Dr Slump references!! After all, some manga creators strive to make their work dignified and refined!! If you think that we'll pander to our audience's shameful love of pee-pee, kaka humor simply to boost the sales of this Dragon Ball comic [...] Then you are very sadly mistaken!!"
- In one scene during the Emperor Pilaf Saga, Pilaf is dancing about while holding a globe that has continents in the same shape as those of the real world.
- The title of the chapter "The Big Sleep" may be a reference to the 1939 novel of the same name.
- In the episode "We are the Five Warriors", when fighting the vampire Upa makes a stance that looks like a cross and the vampire looks at him as a cross. Across the screen where the vampire is going mad, it says "JESUS CHRIST" and "Oh God!".
- During the Red Ribbon Army Saga in the fight against Murasaki, when Murasaki goes to hide, he has his camouflage turned the wrong way around and instead of looking like part of the tree trunk, it is the American Flag. Goku even calls it a flag.
- After Krillin manages to kick Blue in the face with enough force to make his nose bleed and Blue complains about his nose bleeding, he compares the action to throwing red paint on the Mona Lisa.
- In the FUNimation dub of the episode of "Monster Beast Giran", when a Oorin Temple Upperclassman is picking on Giran, Giran says, "I like you, so I think I'll kill you last." Arnold Schwarzenegger says the same thing in the film Commando.
Dragon Ball Z
- In the episode "The New Threat", an Ostrich Chicken Farmer's pickup truck bears the Chevrolet logo.
- In the episode "The End of Snake Way", Goku recalls English physicist Isaac Newton with the statement, "Sir Isaac Newton would've never live to tell about it if one of those hit him" referring to the severe gravity on North Kaio's World which caused a falling fruit to sink an indefinite depth into the ground.
- North Kaio's pet monkey, Bubbles, may be named after American entertainer Michael Jackson's own pet chimp.
- The closing narration of "Goku's Ancestors" states that the Saiyans, Nappa and Vegeta, have already entered Planet Earth's Solar System and are passing the planet Jupiter (the planet is also depicted in the background of the scene).
- In "A New Guardian", the king of Planet Earth, King Furry, states the famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
- Shortly after Vegeta and Nappa reach Earth in "A Black Day for Planet Earth", delirious East City residents in the vicinity of the landing site speculate and converse about what should be done. One suggestion to notify the police is countered with, "Yeah right. What'll they do? They'll just say it's a weather balloon." This is a reference to the Roswell UFO incident of 1947 after which the Eighth Air Force general officer of the time explained that a weather balloon had in fact been recovered by Roswell Army Air Field personnel rather than a "flying saucer."
- At the 16 minute mark in DBZ Episode 22, there is an Easter egg reference to Star Trek. The picture shows a shuttlecraft from the Enterprise A being used as a "news helicopter". This craft is later destroyed by Nappa.
- In "Goku vs. Vegeta... A Saiyan Duel!", Oolong references the Empire State Building of New York City when comparing Goku's battle power as being higher than the height of the structure.
- In "Time's Up!", Piccolo mentions the battle between David and Goliath described in the Christian Old Testament, referring to the physical differences between himself and Nappa.
- In "A New Goal... Namek", a news reporter on TV at Wukong Hospital where Goku recovering after the battle against Vegeta closes his report with, "This is Milton Monroe reporting live, and now back to Barbie and Ken in the newsroom."
- En route to Planet Namek in the episodes "Journey to Namek" and "Friends or Foes?", Bulma's appearance where she wears a bellyshirt and control briefs is similar to Ellen Ripley dressed in her underwear during the closing sequences of the 1979 film Alien, which also takes place in outer space.
- While searching the desert of Fake Planet Namek in the episode "Hunt for a Dragonball", Bulma sings Peter Berring's main title theme of the Dragon Ball anime.
- Also in "Hunt for a Dragonball", Zaacro states that tornadoes on the planet never dissipate, and will always remain active just like the Great Red Spot of Jupiter.
- When Cui lands on Planet Namek in pursuit of Vegeta, he invites Vegeta to "come out and play". This is a reference to a statement in the 1979 film The Warriors.
- In the episode "Secrets Revealed", when Son Gohan, Kuririn, and Dende are hiding from Vegeta, Gohan says that this is not a good hiding place and Kuririn responds, "You got a better suggestion Einstein?" Einstein is again mentioned in the episode "Memories of Gohan" when Chichi wanted to call Gohan Einstein.
- Also in "Secrets Revealed", when Gohan and Kuririn got brave and were about to give their position away to Vegeta, a big Whale-like creature jumps out of the water and Vegeta says, "Shucks, Moby Dick", the title of a famous novel.
- In the episode "The Eldest Namek", Orlen calls a Namekian survivor of Vegeta's rampage a "green goblin". This is also the name of a character in the Marvel Comics series Spider-Man.
- In "Clash of the Super Powers", when Goku decides to seriously take a barrage of boulders that Freeza] is telekinetically using to attack him, he declares, "Hammer time!" This may be a reference to the MC Hammer song "U Can't Touch This".
- In "Frieza's Boast", Bulma references real world English primatologist Jane Goodall with the statement ". . . I could be the next Jane Goodall, except with frogs."
- In the episode "Namek's Explosion... Goku's End?", Yamucha recalls Jewish-Hungarian magician and escapologist Harry Houdini with the statement, "Hey, Goku's gotten himself out of some hairy situations. If there's any way out he'll find it, he's like the great Houdini or something. I guarantee he'll get out of there."
- In "The Heavens Tremble", a sharply dressed Kuririn remarks to Gohan, "Yeah it's me, eh. See?", in a manner reminiscent of 1930s B-movie gangster films, to which Gohan responds, "That's the worst Humphrey Bogart imitation I've ever heard." This is a reference to the American actor who early in his film career was often typecast as a gangster in such films.
- One of the three possessed city residents who are seen ravaging a car in the episode "Suicidal Course" has a face similar in likeness to a hockey mask. Because there is some horror to the context of this character's appearance, his hockey mask face may be a reference to Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th film series.
- During a dream sequence in "Frieza's Counterattack", Goku states that he guesses he "shouldn't have taken that left turn at Mars."
- In the episode "The Mysterious Youth", a flashback to Freeza's restoration process references a popular line in the American television series The Six Million Dollar Man with a scientist's statement that, ". . . I am confident that we can rebuild him. We have the technology to make him faster, stronger and in every way more powerful than he was before."
- Artificial Human No. 16's voice in the FUNimation dub (provided by Jeremy Inman) gives the character a somewhat Austrian accent. This may be in reference to the Terminator film series. Another reference to Terminator made by No. 16, in particular to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, takes place in one of the alternate timelines from the Budokai Tenkaichi video game series in the stage Affectionate Android. According to the alternate timeline, No. 16 was sent from the future to kill Goku, but must first fight Artificial Human No. 8 to get to him (referencing the assassin T-1000, its intended victim John Connor, and his defender, the T-800). Further referencing the film series, No. 16 even uses the word "terminate" to express his need to kill Goku.
- A sequence during the World Tournament Saga features Kuririn reading a newspaper entitled USA News.
- In the FUNimation dub of Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!, Kuririn, Turtle Hermit, Future Trunks Brief, and Oolong are at a beauty pageant where they mention the countries of Russia, Spain, France, and Australia.
- Turtle Hermit calls Kuririn the best singer in Japan in the Japanese dub and FUNimation sub of Dragon Ball Z: Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan.
- Also in Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, Paragas' death sequence has several striking similarities to Kaori's death in the 1988 animated film Akira, however, to a much less graphic extent. In both films, the victim is crushed to death by someone close to them, and the actual sequences illustrating the deaths of both Paragus and Kaori show the area around them collapsing before completely enclosing them. Kaori's death culminates in a depiction of her physically "popping", however, whereas Paragus' body simply disappears within the caved Saiyan Pod. One plot-related distinction between the two is that Paragus is murdered by Broly, whereas Kaori is sucked into Tetsuo's body which swells into a gigantic blob because of his uncontrollable power, and as such Tetsuo is only left hoping the best for his girlfriend without actually being aware that she has already died.
- Dictator is an allusion to Austrian-born politician Adolf Hitler in Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn.
- Old Kaioshin says that Buu "Has trouble digesting those two." and then goes on to say "I have that same problem with Mexican food." in "The Innards of Buu".
- Buu says "German pound cake" in "Mind Trap".