The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.This article catalogues Easter eggs and pop culture references in
- A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message or feature in an object such as a movie, book, CD, DVD, computer program, or video game. The term draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt.
127 Hours Edit
- There's a monster cave with a narrow part that has a skeleton trapped between a rock and the wall by its arm.
- Guards and villagers in Skellige will sometimes yell "This is Skellige!", a possible reference to the phrase "This is Sparta!" uttered by the main protagonist Leonidas.
A Knight's Tale/Fight Club Edit
- In the quest Fists of Fury: Novigrad, Durden the Tailor tries to intimidate Geralt by saying "You've been weighed, you've been measured, and you've been found scrawny. In what world could you possibly defeat me?". This is akin to the line Count Adhemar says to William Thatcher in his cell: "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you've been found wanting." which in itself is a biblical reference, to the Book of Daniel. Durden the Tailor, a street fighter in Novigrad, is also referencing the fictional character Tyler Durden from the movie Fight Club.
Addams Family Edit
- The village of Lurtch is named after the butler of the Evves family who left the land to the peasants when he died. A reference to the Addams family who have a butler named Lurch, and Evves is meant to be a female version of Addams, as in Adam and Eve.
Apocalypse Now Edit
- The Siege Tower gwent card references the movie's famous quote, saying: "I love the clamor of siege towers in the morning. Sounds like victory."
- In the Dorve Ruins on the isle of Undvik, there is a hall which contains corpses all around and a particular one on a chandelier like in the movie Beowulf.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, a drunk in Beauclair near Lebioda's Gate will sometimes say "wawawee-wah", the interjection that is often uttered by Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat character in certain skits of Da Ali G Show and in the subsequent feature film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
Broken Flowers Edit
- The quest Broken Flowers is a reference to a film of the same name directed by Jim Jarmusch. In the movie, Bill Murray portrays a donjuanesque character who embarks on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers, similar to the plotline of the quest.
Django Unchained Edit
- In the quest A Deadly Plot, Thaler is travelling under the disguise of a cobbler. His wagon bears great resemblance to the one used by Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained, complete with a giant wobbly shoe adorning the roof.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) Edit
- After the completion of the quest The Play's the Thing, advertisements for the play may still be seen in Novigrad's streets. These posters have the caption: "The delightful new comedy from the producers of "Everything you always wanted to know about dwarves but were afraid to ask"".
Fast and Furious Edit
- The achievement/trophy "Fast and Furious" is awarded for winning all horse races in the game.
Fifty Shades of Grey Edit
- One of Dandelion's lovers is said to like to call him Christian and likes him to call her Anastasia.
Fight Club Edit
- There is a reference to Tyler Durden, the split personality of Fight Club's protagonist, on a notice attached to a Novigrad notice board.
- Also in Novigrad, Geralt has to defeat a man called Durden the Tailor in a fist fight in the quest Fists of Fury: Novigrad.
- In a bandits hideout north of Fort Astre (Blood and Wine) there is a note with a clear reference to the rules of fight club and Tylers Motivations in the Movie.
Gangs of New York Edit
- The quest The Gangs of Novigrad is a reference to the movie Gangs of New York starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
- In the "Filibert always pays his debts" quest from the Blood and Wine expansion, there is a murdered character named Maximus Nonius Macrinus, whose story is similar to the terrible fate of Maximus Decimus Meridius' family in the movie Gladiator.
Gone With The Wind Edit
- When Geralt first arrives in Vizima, he is questioned by Morvran Voorhis, who asks what happened to his men the day before. If you select the "Wild Hunt killed them" option, he will not believe you, asking, "expect me to believe that?" Geralt will reply with "Frankly, I don't really give a damn" which is a reference to Rhett Butler's iconic line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" in Gone With The Wind. Note that this exchange only happens if you choose not to simulate a Witcher 2 save when creating your save file.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Edit
- During the quest The Oxenfurt Drunk, the monster whispers to Geralt via telepathy about its lust for blood, probably a reference to the Basilisk in the tubes.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Edit
- During the quest Open Sesame! in the Hearts of Stone expansion, one of the glass cases at the Borsodi Brothers' Auction House contains an artifact named the Goblet of Fire.
Kill Bill Edit
- The master blacksmith in Novigrad is retired, is called Hattori and makes dumplings, almost identical to the retired blacksmith in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill. Incidentally, he is also referencing the real life Hattori Hanzo, a ninja from the Edo era.
- The plot of the quest Following the Thread is very similar to that of Kill Bill, involving the search of a scattered group of assassins for revenge. The head of the group, Karadin, is a reference to David Carradine who played Bill in Kill Bill.
Mad Max: Fury Road Edit
- In the Hearts of Stone expansion, some Knights of the Order of the Flaming Rose occasionally cry "Witness me, brothers!", "What a day! What a lovely day!", and "I live, I die, I live again!", mimicking Nux's lines and The Bullet Farmer's "Sing for me, brothers! Sing! Sing!" from the latest Mad Max movie.
Monty Python Edit
- In the entrance of a hidden cave near Benek, there is a pile of corpses and a single "snow hare", a reference to the Rabbit of Caerbannog.
- Thieves randomly shout “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!”.
- Beggars talk about how one of them was cured by a mage from a disease and has a hard time begging now.
- The entire Shock Therapy quest is in reference to the scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian where Brian causes a hermit that had taken a vow of silence to talk.
Wilhelm Scream Edit
- Falling from the broken bridge leading to the Nilfgaardian Garrison in White Orchard gives an unusual scream, which is the "Wilhelm Scream" used in many movies.
Once Upon a Time in America Edit
- A man standing in the building just north of Ursten village whistles the theme from Once Upon a Time in America, composed by Ennio Morricone.
Peter Pan Edit
- In the quest Empty Coop, which is given by an old woman living just east of Honeyfill Meadworks, you meet a group of kids, one of whom is named Pete, and the little girl says "Pete says we're going to live in the woods and wear animal skins and make a tent out of leaves and never grow up."
Pulp Fiction Edit
- In the basement of Crow's Perch castle, you might hear 2 guards talking about waking the gimp.
- In the quest "A Dangerous Game", you come across the corpse of a certain Zed. Geralt later tells Zoltan that "Zed's dead", a reference to Butch Coolidge's line "Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead."
Russ Meyer Edit
- During the quest "Carnal Sins", Geralt visits the workshop of a dwarf to investigate his murder. He is met by the dwarf's brother Gus Meyer, who tells Geralt his brother had a fixation for carving female statues with large breasts, regardless of their status. Russ Meyer was a 1960s-70s film director known primarily for writing and directing a series of successful low-budget sexploitation films that featured campy humour, sly satire and large-breasted women.
Scenes from a Marriage Edit
- The quest "Scenes from a Marriage" (Hearts of Stone) is a reference to a TV miniseries of the same name directed by Ingmar Bergman.
Singin' in the rain Edit
- Priest of Eternal Fire (heard in Hierarch square), during the evening if it's raining will start humming "I'm singin' in the rain..."
- A fist fighter is named Georgius George as in Gorgeous George.
- You are asked by the bookie named Claytop (Bricktop) to throw the fight.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Edit
- When Geralt reaches a cabin on the Isle of Mists, he meets a company of shipwrecked dwarfs. Originally a company of seven, four of the dwarfs barricaded themselves in a cabin while the other three shipwreck-survivors were scattered elsewhere on the island.
- One of the separated dwarfs, Gaspard, suffers from narcolepsy and will fall asleep randomly (Sleepy).
- Another of the separated dwarfs falls to his own death for seemingly no reason, and in the official Prima Game Guide, it refers to this specific dwarf, saying "what a dope" (Dopey).
- One was found dead near a fiend. (Happy?)
- Of the four in the cabin:
- One of the dwarfs can be heard through the door sneezing multiple times (Sneezy).
- "Ach! Ye blew our fuckin' cover." (Grumpy).
- "By me mums beard, get yourselves together, lads." (Doc?).
- One informs Geralt of Ciri's presence in the house, and appears quite shy in doing so (Bashful).
- Geralt also finds Ciri on the bed in the house, put under a deathlike sleep much like Snow White.
Star Wars Edit
- In Skellige, there is a quest "The Sad Tale of the Grossbart Brothers" given by a bounty hunter called Djenge Frett, a reference to the bounty hunter Jango Fett from Star Wars.
The Departed Edit
- After completion of the quest Return to Crookback Bog, one of the witch hunters utters the line "Maybe, maybe not, maybe go fuck yourself" which is a Mark Wahlberg line from the film The Departed.
The Godfather Edit
- At the beginning of the game, when discussing the summons of the Emperor of Nilfgaard, Vesemir says "an offer one can't refuse?".
- Geralt comments on the death of Hugo Hoff that he now "sleeps with fishes".
- In the quest Possession, it is revealed that Aki, Udalryk's younger brother, was once given an ancestral sword much to Udalryk's disdain. They were later forced to clear things up on a fishing trip, during which the younger brother mysteriously died.
The Great Escape Edit
- The quest The Great Escape is a reference to a movie (and book) of the same name, starring Steve McQueen. In the film, prisoners escape a German POW camp by tunneling under the fence. During the quest, Geralt enters Deireadh prison via the sewers.
The Hobbit Edit
- It is possible to come across a party of 13 dwarves near Novigrad.
- Many halflings when you keep talking to them suggest you don't call them "Baggins".
- The blacksmith Willis at White Orchard mentions a dragon sleeping in lots of gold during the quest "Twisted Firestarter", referencing Smaug.
The Horse Whisperer Edit
- A book called The Horse Whistler discusses training horses.
The Lord of the Rings Edit
- When you toss the dwarf during the heist quest in Hearts of Stone is a reference to when Aragon tosses Gimli in the battle of Helms Deep at the gate.
- When you recruit Zoltan to defend Kaer Morhen, he says "You have me and my axe!"
- During the quest The Great Escape, when you proceed towards the commander's chambers for the keys to free Margarita, you may find a document - a list of prisoners - stating 'Undomiel, an Elven mage' being imprisoned which is a reference to Arwen from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings universe.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, you can find a notice by Smigole Serkis, mentioning his precious golden spoon (Andy Serkis is the actor, who played Smeagol/Gollum in the Lord of the Rings series).
- During the quest A Walk on the Waterfront, Ginter de Lavirac introduces Geralt as his gardener, which is quite similar to Samwise Gamgee introducing himself as Frodo's gardener.
- When walking on the edges of the map, Geralt says he needs to assemble a "fellowship" before traveling further.
The Princess BrideEdit
- During the quest Imperial Audience, Ambassador var Attre's scribe will sometimes finish his sentences by saying 'inconceivable'. In The Princess Bride, one of the running gags is that a major character misuses this word in place of 'impossible'.
The Shawshank Redemption Edit
- In the Hearts of Stone expansion, when doing the sidequest "Enchanting: Quality Has Its Price", Geralt will have to enter a cave southeast of Hunter's Cottage north of Novigrad. In the entrance of the cave lies a body with a note which starts a new treasure hunt quest called 'The Drakenborg Redemption'. The letter mentions a secret stash and an offer to reunite with the person who put it there in the first place, much like in the movie 'The Shawshank Redemption'.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion a secondary quest, The Perks of Being a Jailbird, can be started if the player was sent to prison. The reward is a prison poster: a pin up with a similar pose to the one in the movie.
- A guard in Beauclair says "All work and no play. Right, Witcher?" The first part of this remark was popularized through Stanley Kubrick's adaption of a horror story by Stephen King, though it was used in other movies, too. 
The Twelve Tasks of Asterix Edit
- The Blood and Wine quest Paperchase involves getting an A38 permit, through a long and tedious process. Asterix must face a similar challenge (down to the permit name) in "The Place That Sends You Mad" (itself a parody of French bureaucracy), although Asterix gets the permit by questioning a clerk's answer, thus sending her on her own trail through the office, and triggering a chain reaction among employees that ends up destroying the place.
- During the quest "Message from an Old Friend" in Novigrad, you can pick up a book entitled Moribundia: The Vampire's Last Likeness. The text describes a lovers' exchange between Isabella and a vampire named Edward, and refers to an unnamed werewolf and Isabella's pregnancy. These are all references to the plot of the Twilight movie and book series.
- In Blood and Wine, in the town of Fox Hollow, a book titled Katakans: A Monograph, can be found. This text describes that vampires aren't at all harmed by sunlight, but that they "(...) absoulutely never shimmer og glisten when struck with the sun's rays." This is in reference to the vampire Edward's skin glistening and glowing, when struck by sunlight.
- During the Hearts of Stone expansion quest: "Open Sesame!", Geralt may rescue a character named Quinto: it's a reference to a polish film "Vabank". The main character of the film is called Kwinto, and he's a famous safecracker.
Wizard of Oz + Alice in Wonderland Edit
- The book Travel Between Worlds contains references to The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. Zo is Oz backwards as it is mentioned in the book. The story is similar too. Theodore is being taken by a hurricane to another world and Ecila who traveled down a rabbit hole. Ecila is simply Alice written backwards, while Theodore could be seen as an anagram for Dorothee (Dorothy).
- In Blood and Wine , during the quest Beyond Hill and Dale... , you can walk on a yellow brick road.
TV Series Edit
Breaking Bad Edit
- An achievement/trophy called Let's Cook! is awarded for learning 12 potion formulae. Its name references a well-known quote from the show.
- Behind an illusion in a cave north of Novigrad, there is a laboratory with a skeleton holding a document called Alchemist's notes. In it, the alchemist is complaining about his assistant, Jester (Jesse), who had "One Job. ONE." Also, the alchemist wrote that it would be "better to go out with a bang than to die slowly in a hospital."
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Edit
- The name of the contract Wild at Heart is a reference to the werewolf centered love triangle episode with the same name from season 4.
Doctor Who Edit
- Ciri is referred to as the Lady of Time and Space. Similarly the Doctor is referred to as the Lord of Space and Time.
- A graveyard near Lindenvale contains statues of weeping angels. When you go out of the small building, you will find they have moved and are staring at you. While at the Vegelbuds' Residence the angel statues in the grounds will grimace at you if you turn your back to them.
- In the quest Through Time and Space, when Geralt is sent to the frozen world, there is a breaking in the cave wall directly in front of Geralt that resembles the crack in Amy's wall.
- In the quest The Tower Outta Nowheres. Geralt, on entering through the portal says, "It looks smaller on the outside". This is an inversion of a classic comment when people enter The Doctor's TARDIS for the first time.
Game of Thrones Edit
- A secondary quest found in Novigrad is titled A Feast for Crows. It shares its title with that of the fourth book from A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin's acclaimed book series.
- In the ruined fortress of Kaer Almhult, there exist sky cells, i.e. prison cells with sheer drops on one side in place of a wall. One of the cells contains the body of a dwarf. This is in reference to the incarceration of Tyrion Lannister in such a cell, in the first season of Game of Thrones. Upon examining him, Geralt says "Sky cells… Nice idea for a prison without bars. Shame he didn't know how to fly."
- There is a sword named Longclaw, possibly after Jon Snow's sword.
- In the cave underneath the Temple Isle, the sorcerer's notes tell that he tried using milk of the poppy, more commonly known as opium, in his experiments.
- After the fight in the arena, when some of Cleaver's dwarves attack Whoreson Junior's men, some of the dwarves will say, "You're the fucking dainklage!" an apparent reference to Peter Dinklage, the actor who portrays the dwarf, Tyrion Lannister.
- When you try to get help to fight the wild hunt from Crach an craite he shows you his ancestors sword Winter's Blade which is said to have been forged in Mahakam tempered with dragon fire, possibly a reference to Game of thrones Valyrian steel swords.
- The last opponent in the Fist-fighting Quest Chain is a bear in an arena not unlike the "Bear and Maiden Fair" scene.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, you can hear a little girl say "My brother gave me a sword, I named it 'Needle'". Similarly, in Game of Thrones, Arya Stark is given a sword by Jon Snow, which she names 'Needle'.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, you will sometimes hear a boy exclaim that he dreamt he was a wolf. This is in reference to the Stark children, mainly Bran and Arya dreaming of being wolves.
- In the Blood and Wine quest, The Warble of a Smitten Knight, the final challenger of the knights' tourney, Gregoire de Gorgon is a reference to Game of Thrones Ser Gregor Clegane. with similarities in name, giant build, armor and sword. also Gorgon is the name of a volcanic mountain in Toussaint, also referring to Clegane's nickname "The Mountain".
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, during the "Fists of fury", there is a combatant that hides his face - he is only known as "Still Waters". After defeating him, it turns out that he is a lady and her name is Brigitte. A possible reference to "Brienne of Tarth", who is also a lady knight. Brigitte even looks visually similar to Brienne of Tarth, with her short blond hair and bulky build.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, there is a quest called "Filibert Always Pays His Debts", a reference to the Lannisters.
- After the berserkers transform into bears and kill several attendees at the wake for the king, you can over here some people talking in the courtyard below the keep about this being the worst thing to happen since the "Red Funeral."
- Early in the game, when you're tasked with finding the "Inn at the Crossroads" an easter egg occurs. This Inn is also famous in Game of Thrones and ASOIAF for several dramatic encounters. The game references one scene from the show (and book, though it happens slightly differently) when Arya and the Hound find themselves in a standoff with several Lannister soldiers at the Inn at the Crossroads (represented in-game by the three soldiers who walk in and want to start a fight). The hound is wounded, but Arya is untouched, despite killing a young squire, crossing Pollivar off of her list of names and retrieving Needle. This is also where the Hound speaks his famous "chicken" line.
- In the village of Lurtch, a woman can be found arguing with her husband. She asks why he has killed and stuffed her dog, Rowdy, to which he replies that the dog is stuffed with poison and will be used as dragon bait. The dog's name is a reference to Turk and J.D.'s beloved taxidermy dog, Rowdy. This also references the hunt for Borch Three Jackdaws (Villentretenmerth) in "The Sword of Destiny"
- During the Triss romance scene in the lighthouse, two sailors believe the subsequent flickering of the light to be a Morse Code message. This is a reference to the scene in "The Hounds of Baskerville" where Watson notices car headlights flashing on Dartmoor and thinks it to be Morse Code but turns out to be a dogging site.
Star Trek: The Next Generation Edit
- A gravestone in the Mère-Lachaiselongue Cemetery makes a reference to Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the starship Enterprise. It reads "Jean-Luc Picard; Great commander; Even greater man".
Video games Edit
Dark Souls Edit
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, right before leaving The Land of a Thousand Fables, a Will-o'-the-wisp can be followed to a Bonfire. When lit, Geralt will sit and the game will automatically save, so as to imitate the mechanic. If Geralt dies in the vicinity, the game will load the last save which will be at the bonfire.
Baldur's Gate Edit
- One of the items that may be found in cupboards or lockers is Balduran's Butter knife.
- Another item which may be found in cupboards is Silver Pantaloons, which is an easter egg reference to a recurring easter egg throughout the Baldur's Gate trilogy.
- There is a sword called Daystar, which is a reference to a sword guarded by a lich in the city of Amn.
- In the Polish version, whenever an unexplorable area (edges of the map) is reached, or if the navigation to the Isle of Mists is canceled, there is a small chance of hearing a voice say "Przed wyruszeniem w drogę należy zebrać drużynę." This is the Polish version of "You must gather your party before venturing forth," spoken by the actor that did the voice-over for the line in Baldur's Gate.
- In the trophy list, the trophy for unlocking places of power is called "Power Overwhelming", in reference to the original Starcraft Archon quote and cheat of the same name.
- At some point during the quest Turn and Face the Strange, you can enter a portal only to enter a small room with nothing but a bloodied crate in the center and a chest containing a Cake nearby.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Edit
- The caption of the Black Infantry Archer card in Gwent reads "I always aim for the knee". This is a reference to the infamous line "I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee", which is often uttered by Skyrim's guards.
- While traveling to the Circle of Elements with Lambert during the quest The Final Trial, Geralt says "Was bold and brash once, like you. Then I took a pitchfork in the gut." (It is worth noting that the thing actually happened in the novel The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski).
- Occasionally, guards in Novigrad will say "No lollygagging", a phrase also spoken by guards in Skyrim.
- In the Hearts of Stone expansion, during a dialog between Shani and a guard in the main quest Whatsoever a Man Soweth..., Shani says to the guard "You were much kinder when I was patching you up. By the way, how's your knee?" to which the guard responds "Fine, dandy. As if no arrow ever struck it."
- In the Hearts of Stone expansion, the Professor who informs Geralt about the true identity of O'Dimm says "By deciphering the ancient scrawlings I went blind" (just like ancestor moth priests go blind by deciphering Elder Scrolls in the Elder Scrolls universe).
- Peasants sometimes remark "War - it just never changes." and some elves in Scoia'tael camps sometimes say "War... War changes everything which is a famous used in the intro to Fallout 1 - 4."
- In the village of Lurtch, after the completion of the DLC quest Fool's Gold, one of the peasants will directly quote Fallout and say "War, war never changes." Another female NPC then immediately quips back at him.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, Murky Delve is filled with a purple mist that causes Geralt to hallucinate things that aren't there. This is like Vault 106 where the player is overcome by a purple tint and they start to hallucinate.
CD Projekt RED Edit
- Some of the weather vanes use the stylized cardinal logo used by CD Projekt RED.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, at the top of Mount Gorgon in Toussaint, there is a painting in-between two columns that show a picture of the game's developing team as a tribute.
- T book Gottfried's Omni-opening Grimoire (GOG) explains how to bypass the Defensive Regulatory Magicon (DRM). GOG is a distribution service and publisher for PC games and films, operated by GOG Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CD Projekt based in Warsaw, Poland. GOG delivers video games through its DRM-free digital platform for Windows, OS X and Linux.
Duke Nukem Edit
- When fighting bandits sometimes they will say "I'll rip off your melon and shit down your neck".
Killer Instinct and Primal Rage Edit
- During the quest The Play's the Thing , you must hire thugs to be ushers at the play. They offer to work for free if you fight them both in an organized fight. If you accept, he says: "It will be a grand fight, killer instinct versus primal rage". This is a nod back to 2 separate fighting games on the SNES and Sega Genesis, Killer Instinct and Primal Rage.
Tomb Raider Edit
- During the quest The Great Escape you will find a corpse. Upon examining it Geralt will say "Heheh. Tomb raider. Seemed this one liked elven stuff".
- During the quest Turn and Face the Strange, after investigating, Geralt will find out a certain small framed, agile Tomb Raider has already recovered the journal of Professor Moreau, infiltrated the underwater elven ruins where his laboratory is located, successfully avoiding all the traps. There is a column she used to zip line across, leaving behind her bow and her climbing gear in the process.
Monkey Island (Series) Edit
- In the Blood and Wine DLC's "Fists of Fury" quest, Geralt fights "Mancomb", which is a wordplay on the name of the protagonist of the Monkey Island games, Guybrush. Mancomb looks identical to Guybrush, sporting a blonde pony tail, and the actual "fight" is done by choosing the correct answers to his verbal attacks, referencing the insult sword fighting mechanic in Monkey Island 1 and 3. Mancomb Seepgood is also the name of a pirate Guybrush speaks to in Monkey Island 1.
- As a reward for completing Contract: Mysterious Tracks, Geralt will receive the silver sword Azure Wrath, which is a reference to "Azurewrath", an angelic blade once wielded by the fallen angel Izual that appears as a unique/legendary weapon in Diablo II and III.
- When fleeing and screaming, some peasants in and around Novigrad use the same "scream" used when torturing enemy creatures in the Dungeon Keeper games.
Mass Effect Trilogy Edit
- Some male background characters in Novigrad say "The Reapers are chasing me" which is a reference to the Reapers from Mass Effect.
Folk Tales Edit
- Occasionally on notice boards, you can find a reference to the Pied Piper of Hamelin Story.
- Also after helping Triss rid a warehouse of rats you will see them running the water like in the story.
- The "Trail of Treats" is reminiscent of the tale of Hansel and Gretel.
- You can find Excalibur inside the stone in the dungeon in Skellige when you want to find the mask from the druid with Yennefer. When Geralt tries to pull Excalibur out of the stone, Yennefer says that the sword is not actually in the stone, it's held in place by a vice.
- The Quest There Can Only Be One in the Blood and Wine expansion is also an obvious reference to the tale of King Arthur. The name itself is a reference to Highlander.
- The mission A Towerful of Mice tells a story of a cruel noble family that hid in a tower when the peasants rebelled and were eaten by mice. All these details are similar to the polish tale of Prince Popiel. A very similar tale is frequently told in Germany, surrounding a Guardtower in the city of Bingen  (An extra bit of trivia: Stara Baśń, a movie that includes this story, was made with Michał Żebrowski as a main character. Michał Żebrowski played Geralt in the TV series 'The Hexer').
- The book "Golem, or Man's Most Faithful Servant" holds a tale of a dwarf who crafted a golem to defend the dwarves from prosecution, which is very similar to the tale of the golem of Prague, about Judah Loew ben Bezalel 'המהר"ל' who made a golem to defend the Jewish community from pogroms. This tale is the main origin of golems in fantasy works.
- Similarly, an ancient invoice for a golem states the payment is to be made to one Jehuda Löw
- During the Contract: Dragon quest, Geralt needs a sheep to use as bait for the "dragon". When asked if he has a sheep Geralt can use, the village elder asks if Geralt is going to fill it with sulfur and he responds "Another ally of the brave little shoemaker". It is a two-fold reference. Firstly to the short story Granica możliwości from Miecz przeznaczenia, where the shoemaker Kozojed/Goatmuncher used a fake sheep filled with poison to try and kill a dragon. Secondly, to the second version of the legend of the Wawel Dragon, a tale from Polish folklore which the short story is based on.
- The Side mission A Favor for a Friend is based on Cinderella, apparently Keira Metz's favorite fairy tale, who with Geralt's help re-enacts the story. According to Geralt the story takes inspiration from a true event: Apparently, it involves a Zeugl swallowing a princess whole and leaving behind a single glass slipper.
- During the Quest The Lord of Undvik one of the members of Hjalmar's crew claimed that when the crew encountered a group of Sirens, the helmsman caused the wreckage of their ship because he tried to protect himself from the sirens by stuffing his ears full of wax; as a consequence he couldn't hear the rest of the crew shouting at him and they ended up crashing on shore, a tale clearly inspired by the Tale of Odysseus.
- The pact of von Everec with the Mirror Man resembles a Polish folk tale about Twardowski, a noble who sold his soul to the devil for magical powers. The pact states that the devil is forced to fulfill three wishes (like Mirror Man), and Twardowski is supposed to come to Rome. The devil lures Twardowski to the inn called "Rome" to take his soul, but Twardowski in his last moment says a prayer and is saved, but must stay on the Moon til the end of the world as his penance. The game features similar trick, as von Everet soul can be taken only when he stands on the Moon. Mirror Man lures him to the temple with a moon painted on the floor.
- In Blood and Wine halfway between Dulcinea Windmill and Coronata, you can encounter a bear wearing a ragged red shirt. That is a reference to Winnie the Pooh, a character first created by the English author A. A. Milne. You can loot three honeycombs and a jar of honey after you have killed the bear.
- At the start of Blood and Wine, the scene with Guillaume & the windmill is clearly a reference to Don Quixote (seeing windmills for monsters; only this time a true monster pops out). Furthermore, there are notes spread across Toussaint calling on Knights Errand to no longer fight windmills
- In the island where the GOT Easter Egg is found one of the bandits drops a note with: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn". Direct reference to H.P. Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu. Appropriately, the Necronomicon, which was referenced in works of H.P. Lovecraft, can be found as an in-game book. In "Blood and wine", in the hut of the witch of the lynx crag, a book named "Liber ivonis" can be found, a reference to an occult book mentioned in Lovecraft's stories. Geralt makes a comment about that book being banished by the sorcerers.
- In Velen, not too far from the village of Heatherton, there is a Cyclops guarding a treasure but is also to be found a herd of sheep. This is a direct reference to The Odessy, by Homer, in which Odysseus and his men are beset by the Cyclops, Polyphemus
- In Oxenfurt, near the northeastern gate, you can find a man who has a wyvern in a cage. He tries to cheat you, as well as the soldiers that are there, by telling that the beast inside the cage is a basilisk, but Geralt notices the fraud. After this, the wyvern breaks the cage and kills that guy. This quest, called 'The Most Truest of Basilisk', represents a scene from Time of Contempt, the 4th book of Geralt's saga by Andrzej Sapkowski. In the book Ciri is hanging around Gors Velen with another kid when she suddenly enters a tent and sees a man with a wyvern in a cage. The same thing happens here. The man says that it's a basilisk, trying to trick everyone there, but Ciri says that it is a wyvern... Eventually, the wyvern breaks the cage and kills the guy.
- During the quest The Great Escape, you can find a list of prisoners with several inside jokes, including a reference to a prisoner named Sardukhar, a member of the Nilfgaardian Elite Palace Guard. This a reference to the novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert. In the novel, the Sardukar were the elite palace guards of the Padishah Emperor.
- The Forefathers' Eve quest is a reference to the poem "Dziady" (Forefather's Eve) by Adam Mickiewicz. The ceremony on the island directly quotes parts of it. Both the poem and the events in the game are a reference to actual pre-Christian Slavic / Baltic commemorations of the same name.
- In the quest, The Great Escape, Geralt and Yennefer go to meet a man who escaped from the prison. His name is Abbé Faria, which is a reference to the priest that Edmond Dantes meets in the book The Count of Monte Cristo. Additionally, the way the man escapes from prison is by playing dead and being tossed in the sewers, which is similar to the way Edmond Dantes escapes the Chateau d'If prison island, by pretending to be dead and being tossed into the sea.
- The Mission Swamp Thing refers to the character with the same name from DC comics.
- There is a trophy called "Fist of the South Star", a reference to the manga "Fist of the North Star".
- When talking to the Old Sage in the The Truth is in the Stars quest, if asked about his "gift", the Old Sage will first respond that as a child he fell into a cauldron of magic brew. This is how Obelix from the comic book series "Asterix and Obelix" gained his superhuman strength.
- On one of the notice boards, there's a notice from "Ismael" claiming "if you see a white whale in the sea, let it swim on. It's mine. If anyone catches it before me, Freya be my witness, I will stab that wretch to death with my harpoon" Clearly a reference to Ishmael and Moby Dick / the whale by Herman Melville.
- There is an in game book titled "How to Avoid Colossal Vessels" which is a reference to "How to Avoid Huge Ships"
- The book Journey to the End of the World is a reference to Jules Verne's adventure novel "Around the World in Eighty Days". It also mentions the German film star Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Man Who Laughs, The Thief of Bagdad, Casablanca), who was one the first actors playing the main character of this story in a movie adaption.
- During The King is Dead – Long Live the King Geralt is tasked with finding a key to place in a statue's hand, opening a secret passage. Many items are provided to try, only one work. One of the items is a skull. Nothing happens when it is placed in the statue's hand. After, Geralt sighs, "Guess you're no indecisive prince." A reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet and the famous "Alas, poor Yorick" scene, and Hamlet as a character.
- The quest The Play's the Thing is a reference to Shakespeare's play Hamlet, where Hamlet says "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King."
- On a notice board in Toussaint, the poet and tournament-announcer Le Papillon accuse a guy named William of Stratford to "steal rhymes". That is an obvious reference to the old debate, whether William Shakespeare, born in Stratford-upon-Avon, was indeed the author of his plays and poems.
- The name of the side quest Waiting for Goe and Doh is an obvious allusion to Samuel Beckett's play "Waiting for Godot".
- Captain Wolverstone and his ship Atropos are right from Sabatini's book 'Captain Blood'
- Towards the end of the quest Where the Cat and Wolf Play Geralt may say "The soil lie light upon you." depending on your choices made throughout the duration of the quest. This is a reference to an inscription commonly used on funerary items from ancient Roman times; "Sit tibi terra levis." Translated from Latin meaning: "May the earth rest lightly on you."
- During the quest Count Reuven's Treasure, it is mentioned that one of the customers in Novigrad baths is named "General Joseph Svejk", being a reference to the main character of Jaroslav Hašek's novel "The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk".
- The backstory of a quest The Fall of the House of Reardon is about a 14-year-old girl Dolores Reardon and her brother/guardian Humbert. They're the main characters of Vladimir Nabokov's novel "Lolita".
- The title of a quest The Fall of the House of Reardon references Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher". During the same quest, one can find Humbert's remains, who was entombed alive behind a brick wall. The whole setup is a reference to "The Cask of Amontillado" by the same author.
- During the quest The Mystery of the Byways Murders, Geralt has to track and kill the old vampire named Sarasti, who is a reference to one of the main characters of the novel "Blindsight" by Peter Watts.
- After being possessed by a spirit, the random black mare caught for the quest will be called "Black Beauty".
- During the quest Final Preparations, you encounter a character by the name of Abbe Faria. This is the name of the prisoner who helps Edmond Dantes escape the prison in "The Count Of Monte Cristo" by faking his own death.
- During the quest Through Time and Space on the desert planet, Avallac'h describes a living sea that was on this planet. A direct reference to Solaris novel by Stanislav Lem.
- The quest The Sad Tale of the Grossbart Brothers is a direct reference to the book "the Sad Tale of the Grossbart Brothers", about the murderous and grave-robbing brothers Hegel and Manfred Grossbart. You are asked to kill them and will later fight them later in a cave.
- Walking around in von Everec mansion in the Hearts of Stone expansion, Geralt can make comments about certain objects. Of the portrait depicting Olgierd and Iris together, he says "Happy families are all alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way", quoting the first line of Leo Tolstoy's famous novel "Anna Karenina".
- On one of the notice boards, there's a story about a girl named Rossa being put in a bread oven for the amount of time equal to "counting dozen three times" as suggested by the Pellar. The tale is similar to the one portrayed in the 19th-century short story "Antek" by Bolesław Prus, where the main protagonist's sister Rozalia was put in the oven for the duration of "three Hail Maries" to sweat out a fever as per local folk medicaster's suggestion. The child had died of severe burns.
- Olgierd von Everec resembles Andrzej Kmicic, a character from the novel "The Deluge" by Henryk Sienkiewicz, who was an extraordinary soldier and commander, but also a thug and a brawler. Kmicic leads a band of criminals (like Olgierd's Wild Ones) and has a fiancé by the same family name like Iris, Olgierds wife. Olgierd's model bears resemblance to Daniel Olbrychski, an actor who played Kmicic in the film adaptation.
- In the quest Turn and Face the Strange which involves the witcher mutation laboratory of Professor Moreau, the professor's name is a reference to the character of Dr. Moreau from the 1896 science fiction novel by H.G. Wells, "The Island of Doctor Moreau."
- The sidequest The Last Exploits of Selina's Gang, from the Blood and Wine expansion, mentions three robbers: Selina, Bruce - her lover, and Robin. This is a nod to DC Comics' Batman (Bruce Wayne), Robin, and Catwoman (Selina Kyle).
- The quest's title is also a reference to the 1970s Danish comedy, The Last Exploits of the Olsen Gang
- The Blood and Wine quest The Inconstant Gardener is a reference to the 2001 novel The Constant Gardener written by John le Carré. Like the Hearts of Stone quest Tinker, Hunter, Soldier, Spy before it, the journals and books around the treasure site reflect many of the author's portrayals of double-agents living under assumed identities.
- The character Gaunter O'Dimm is a possible reference to the Stephen King character Walter O'Dimm who is a powerful wizard in the Dark Tower series.
- The Blood and Wine Guarded Treasure, located to the right of Trading Post, in the North-Center portion of the map, features a black panther guarding a camp. After slaying the panther, you can find a letter addressed to "Calvin", admonishing him for adopting a panther and naming it Hobbes. This is a reference to the comic Calvin and Hobbs, in which a small boy lives a fantasy that his stuffed toy tiger (which is incidentally orange) is alive and who is often criticized for being so friendly with it.
- One of the women in Crippled Kate's Brothel can be overheard saying "It's a material world, and I'm a material girl.", referencing Madonna's song "Material Girl".
- During the Fencing Lessons quest when Rosa var Attre runs off towards a tavern, Geralt remarks that "girl just wants to have fun" references the Cyndi Lauper song of the same name.
- One of the first missions in the game called Twisted Firestarter references the lyrics of the song Firestarter by Prodigy. "...I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter..."
- The name of the tavern Rosemary and Thyme is a reference to the English folk song "Scarborough Fair" most known by its performance by Simon and Garfunkel.
- One of the workers at Corvo Bianco can sometimes be heard singing "I'd rather be a sparrow than a quail, yes I would..." - a reference to another Simon and Garfunkel song, "El Condor Pasa"
- The same worker at Corvo Bianco will also recite, "And I say hey hey hey, what's going on," a reference to the 4 Non Blondes' song, "What's Up."
- The song Johnny sings to Gran is the translated version of the Polish lullaby "Na Wojtusia z popielnika".
- The piper at the Inn at the Crossroads integrates parts of the "Palästinalied" by Walther von der Vogelweide into his play.
- Older peasants will sometimes hum Polish old cabaret song "Wesołe jest życie staruszka".
- A loading tip says "When the time of the White Frost comes, do not eat the yellow snow.", referencing Frank Zappa's song "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow".
- In the quest Turn and Face the Strange which involves the witcher mutation laboratory of Professor Moreau, the quest's title is a reference to the lyrics, "(Turn and face the strange)" from the 1972 rock song by David Bowie, "Changes."
- During the mission Equine Phantoms, Geralt asks Roach how he can cross large distances when the former whistles. Roach tells Geralt that he will be there "for you-ou-ou as the world falls down", a reference to David Bowie's "As The World Falls Down" from Jim Henson's 'Labyrinth'.
- In Toussaint, a random male villager will sing the lines "I once had a girl or should I say she once had me" from The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood."
- In Toussaint, in the Corvo Bianco Courtyard, a man can sometimes be heard singing "... the book of lust is long and girthy, no one can grip the damn thing." This is a rather lewd reference to the song, "Book of Love" by The Magnetic Fields, in which the true lyrics are: "the book of love is long and boring, and no one can lift the damn thing."
- In various cities and villages throughout the world, the song "Foggy Dew" can be heard played by an unseen tin whistle player, as well as the tune "Morrison's Jig", both traditional Irish pieces of music.
- A guy at Beauclair's Harbor sings "Girl From Ipanema".
- The quest Stranger in a Strange Land is a reference to the song by Iron Maiden of the same name. The lyrics of the song coincide with what happens before and during the quest. "What became of the man that started, All are gone and their souls departed, Left me here in this place, So all alone" references how Geralt caused the fight in the tavern and everyone else involved died. "Stranger in a strange land, Land of ice and snow, Trapped inside this prison, Lost and far from home" references how Skellige is very different from the northern realms, the area is more arctic, he is inside a prison cell, and he is very far from Kaer Morhen. There are also other parallels between the lyrics and what has happened thus far in the game.
- Some strumpets and courtesans in Novigrad might be heard saying "I was made for loving." This is probably a reference to the hit song "I Was Made for Lovin' You" by the popular hard rock band Kiss from their 1979 album "Dynasty".
- Geralt meets Corinne Tilly in a room upstairs of The Golden Sturgeon during the quest Novigrad Dreaming. There you can see a portrait of a man, which hints at a famous photography of Sigmund Freud.
- During the mission Defender of the Faith, you come across some students vandalizing shrines. The say their master Friedrich sent them, which refers to Friedrich Nietzsche. They say some tenets from Nietzsche's philosophy, that god is dead and that they need to forge a new morality. It is also a reference to Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx when one of the students says "Religion is the opium of the masses." (from "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right", 1843)
- The maps sold in Skellige are called "Lonesome World Guides", a parody of Lonely Planet Guides.
- Novigrad is similar to the city of Gdańsk in Poland. Historically it's been an independent city between 1920 and 1939. It also bears similarities of medieval trade city of Novgorod in modern Russia.
- A book called Wondrous World of Insectoids detail a system called "arachnocommunism".
- The Bald Mountain is a reference to Łysa Góra (Bald Mountain), a mountain in Poland known to be an ancient pagan place of cult activity. Due to that, the mountain is known in legends as a place where witches had sabbaths.
- During the Cabaret quest when Dandelion acts as a hero, he takes the nickname "Crimson Avenger", the same alias is used in DC Universe by Lee Travis and in Disney's animated series Gummi Bears by Cubby. Additionally, that's a name of a class in game Elsworld.
- When speaking to a troll in the marsh during quest The Volunteer his name is "Trollololo" which may be a refence to the famous song "I'm Very Glad for I'm Coming Home at Last" also known as "The trololol song" by Eduard Khil.
- During the Where the Cat and Wolf Play quest, if you let the Witcher go, you can find a letter in his stash, in which you can read that a Witcher of the Cat School named Schrödinger might be dead or alive, referencing a quantum mechanics paradox called Schrödinger's Cat.
- In Ermion's laboratory in Kaer Trolde, one can find a book titled "White Cold", which describes a theory by mage Democritus of Ban Ard that the White Cold phenomenon consists of microscopic indivisible particles. It refers to an ancient Greek philosopher Democritus of Abdera who is known as the founder of atomic hypothesis.
- During the quest An Elusive Thief should you spare the Doppler, the merchant will refuse to reward you without a trophy, to which Geralt responds "There better be one, or you'll feel the invisible hand of the market smack you so hard you won't be able to sit down for a week". This is a reference to Adam Smith's book "The wealth of nations". The invisible hand is a metaphor introduced by Smith which is often used by liberal economist to explain how the market is able to allocate resources more efficiently without any kind of central planning or intervention.
- Upon entering the Temerian Partisan Hideout, a soldier at the entrance says "A Witcher, just what our band of merry men needed," referencing Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
- On a notice board in Fyresdal, you can find a message stating that "This Sunday Ignis Holgersen will plight her troth to Ingmar Bergman". Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish director most known for the cult movie "The Seventh Seal".
- During quest Spoontaneous Profits you canfind a note: A Ra'mses Gor-Thon is mentioned in "Smigole Louis Serkis Cookbook". That is a spoof of Gordon Ramsay's name. Ramsay is famous for TV-shows like "Hell's Kitchen".
- When trying to find the Enhanced Ursine Boots Diagram from the Scavenger Hunt: Bear School Gear Upgrade Diagrams - Part 1 in a cave southwest of Ard Skellig, three farting Lv 16 rock trolls can be heard farting inside. They will throw rocks at Geralt and fight him while occasionally farting once the witcher comes near. They are named Jesse, Joe, and Dodger in reference to some popular Youtube gaming personalities. The trolls' names and voices are taken from Jesse Cox known as YouTube user OMFGcata, Joe Vargas, also known as YouTube user AngryJoeShow, and Brooke "Dodger" Lawson known as YouTube user PressHeartToContinue.
- The various runestones used in the game are references to pre-Christian Slavic mythology. For example, Perun was a god of thunder, fire, and war, Dazbog was a smithing deity, and Triglav was a three-headed creator.
- The Hearts of Stone secondary quest The Royal Air Force leads to a ruined tower, where Geralt will find many dead bodies in an open basement. One of them carried a book with him called Rohn Drump's account book, containing notes of a real estate manager. The name and the profession is an obvious allusion to Donald Trump.
- A notice board posting found in Skellige titled "Sailing West" is written by a man named Leif, who speaks of sailing west for the sake of adventure, despite the legends of monsters, krakens, and fear of the unknown. This is likely a reference to Leif Erikson, a famed Icelandic explorer who is credited with discovering the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus arrived.
- During quest Fencing lessons Edna var Attre tricks her guard by telling him that Geralt is Fredrick Francis De Bergerac, Rosa's fencing instructor. This references Cyrano De Bergerac, a 17th-century playwright and noted fencer.
- The Night of Long Fangs, a main mission from the Blood and Wine expansion, may be seen as a reference to the Night of the Long Knives, a purge that took place at the beginning of Nazi Germany to consolidate Hitler's power.
- In Beauclair a passing woman mentions that you should "Speak softly and carry a big stick", a quote by Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.
Art History Edit
- During the quest Family Matters, a portrait must be removed from the wall, as there is a hole behind it. This portrait is of the baron and is wife. It bears a striking resemblance to one of the most famous paintings of all time, "Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife," created by Jan van Eyck In 1434.
- The Passiflora has images on the wall which are edits from paintings by Hans Baldung. 
- During the Quest Cabaret, you encounter a halfling named Henri Rautlec who is supposed to paint posters for the Rosemary and Thyme. He's referencing French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec , who was very small in stature and also famous for his advertising posters.
- During the Quest A Portrait of the Witcher as an Old Man, you met a few people relaxing on the grass, while the painter asks them whether they have seen his missing work tools. Their posture closely resembles one of the men and women in Édouard Manet's famous painting "Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe". 
- When Geralt is searching for diagrams of the Grandmaster Griffin Gear at Mont Crane Castle, you can see several anatomical drawings by Leonardo da Vinci hanging on the wall.
- At the same spot, you can also see drawings that belong to a mysterious codex called Voynich manuscript". 
- When Geralt and Anna Henrietta attend a soirée during the quest The Man from Cintra, you have the option to throw paint at a canvas, similar like some proponents of an art movement called 'action painting'.  
- When Geralt visits the emperor, he sees a portrait of Ciri as a young princess that bears some resemblance to the many paintings that Diego Velasquez made of children at the court of Spain's King Philip IV.
- Brewess, one of the three Crones, is wearing a basket on her face, similar to the people in "The Beekeepers and the Birdnester" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. 
- There is a fresco in Beauclair which is basically just an edited version of a wall painting called 'La Danza Macabra' from the oratory of San Bernardino in Clusone, Italy (1484). 
- A tapestry in the Kaer Trolde throne room depicts warriors battling the Ice Giant. Its style makes reference to an actual 11th-century artifact, the Bayeux Tapestry, which shows William the Conqueror’s successful battles for control over England.
- There are several allusions to famous paintings in the Hearts of Stone quest Open Sesame!. When Geralt and Vimme Vivaldi meet the art dealer, you can see the following pictures: "Et in Kovir Ego" by N. Boussin (a reference to "Et in Arcadia Ego" by Nicolas Poussin), "The Battle of Anghiari" by V. da Linci (meaning Leonardo da Vinci), "A Vessel Leaving Port" by Z. Burner hints to the many paintings of ships and harbors by the English artist William Turner and the "Still Life" by J. de Varvari points to the Italian master Jacopo de' Barbari. "The Spice Merchant" by E. van der Knoob is probably a reference to Anthony van Dyck's portrait of the spice merchant Cornelis van der Geest. Also, he is wearing the same Headgear, the Chaperon, of Vernon Roche, who, in Witcher 2, introduces himself as a "Spice Merchant". In the auction, there is a picture called "Starry Night over the Pontar" by van Rogh, which is an obvious reference to Vincent van Gogh's painting "Starry Night Over the Rhone".
- In Beauclair one can also see a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, depicting a bearded old man. 
- If Geralt helps to bring Sara and Johnny together, he can meet them near the Bald Mountain. Then a picture of them will appear in which Johnny closely resembles Ron Mueck's statue 'Boy'. 
- During the first time, when Geralt meets Olgierd van Everec, the latter will show Geralt the statue of a nude women and say: "I used to like Votticelli" - a reference to Sandro Botticelli, mostly known for his painting "The Birth of Venus".