In an interview, Steven Spielberg said this was the third most difficult movie he has made in his career, behind Jaws (1975) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).

The spell cast to use the Orb of Osuvox is from the movie Excalibur. In modern Irish, it's "Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh," which means,"Serpent's breath, charm of death and life, thy omen of making."

Besides the obvious Bigfoot, Delorean, and Akira vehicles, other notables in the race were the Mach 5, Batmobile, A Team van, V8 Interceptor, Christine and the Trans-Am from Smokey and the Bandit

When Wade first goes into the container to put on the headset to enter the Oasis, there is a campaign poster on the wall. It is to vote for Goldie Wilson who was running for mayor in the film Back To The Future.

Steven Spielberg is referenced (along with some of his movies) in Ernest Cline's source novel. Spielberg had stated that he would remove these references, although some like the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the alien ship from War of The Worlds, do appear.

Around the 35' mark, Halliday is shown on the cover of WIRED magazine with a QR code. The code is readable, and links to an accompanying article on Halliday (July 2018).

Oasis is actually an acronym. It stands for Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation. This is mentioned in Ernest Cline's source novel but not mentioned in the film.

The music score was originally going to be composed by longtime Steven Spielberg collaborator John Williams. However, due to scheduling conflicts working on another Spielberg film, The Post (2017), he left and Alan Silvestri took over. This was only the third film where Spielberg did not collaborate with Williams.

The semi-truck blocking the road in the middle of the opening race is the truck driven by Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) in "Big Trouble in Little China" (1986)

The Zemeckis cube is named after director Robert Zemeckis. When the cube is activated, the music playing is from the Back to the Future (1985) trilogy, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Alan Silvestri composed the score for both the Back to the Future trilogy and this film.

During the scene inside the shop, in the background you can see the flying RV from Spaceballs, the space pod from 2001, a Colonial Viper, a star fighter from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Ed 209, and a loader from Aliens.

In the scene where Halliday and Morrow are discussing the date with Kira, Halliday's monitor show he is working on the build of Room 237 of The Shining.

At one point in the movie, the gang goes into a simulation of the hotel from The Shining. In real life, Steven Spielberg was close friends with The Shining's director Stanley Kubrick. Spielberg even once called the scene where Wendy finds Jack's novel as "a great example of counter intuitive direction".

Steven Spielberg made The Post (2017) while he was waiting for Industrial Light & Magic to create close to 1,500 digital effect shots for this movie.

In the scene where they are discussing Art3mis's possible real life persona, there is a picture of Wil Wheaton on the mirror. In the book, Wil is vice-president of the Oasis user council. He also reads the audio book for this and Ernest Cline's second novel, Armada.

The box containing the spell is the same one Gizmo is in when he's given to Billy in Gremlins.

Boba Fett is at the bar where the dance number is done.

During the race sequence the marquee of a theater can be seen. It reads "Schwarzenegger Jack Slater III". This is a nod to Arnold Schwarzenegger's film Last Action Hero (1993), also written by Zak Penn. According to Penn the nod was unintentional and was included by ILM staff as suggestion by co-writer Ernest Cline. Penn himself didn't know about it before the release of the first trailer.

Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis, Matthew Vaughn, Peter Jackson, and Edgar Wright were all considered to direct this film.

Halliday's Oasis alter-ego name is "Anorak." Although in American English the word "anorak" refers exclusively to a type of hooded jacket or parka, in the UK the word is also a slightly derogatory slang term for a person Americans would call a "nerd" or a "geek": someone with an obsessive and comprehensive interest in a particular aspect of pop culture, a hobby, or a specialty or niche subject. This level of obsessive fandom is the entire point of the Halliday character and his creation of the Oasis.

The film was scheduled to be released on December 15, 2017. It was pushed back to March 30, 2018, to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).

The film includes characters from pop culture staples of the 1980s and 1990s, including The Iron Giant (1999), TRON (1982), Akira (1988), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Back to the Future (1985), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Tomb Raider (1996), and Duke Nukem (1991).

In the scene where Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) meets I-R0k (T.J. Miller) about the orb, there lies a crashed ship from the original George Pal version of War of the Worlds (1953). It's also making the original sounds. Spielberg remade War of the Worlds in 2005.

During the first race when the 1966 Batmobile comes to a skidding stop the skidding sound effect is the same cadence as the Na na na na na na na na from the opening credits of the Batman TV theme.

The last rifle spawned by Artemis is a Lancer Assault Rifle with a chainsaw bayonet from the Gears of War games.

Warner Bros. and De Line Pictures won an auction for the rights to Ernest Cline's novel Ready Player One in 2010, before it had been published.

During the closeup of Halliday in his coffin, he has quarters over his eyes from the year 1972; the same year the book's author, Ernest Cline, was born.

During the race sequence, when King Kong appears, the theme from the original 1933 film composed by Max Steiner is played.

Shipped to some cinemas under the pseudonym "Deep Blue". Deep Blue was a supercomputer most known for playing the game chess against, and beating, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

The character Curator, that guides people around Halliday's Journal is based on long time popular character actor Arthur Treacher, best known for playing butlers and other British roles.

In the garage scene where Parzival is showing off H's ships to Art3mis, a model of the Swordfish (Cowboy Bebop) can be seen on the cart.

Alan Silvestri worked closely with director Steven Spielberg to achieve the right direction for the original musical score that would not only be original and distinctive that would not allude to any of the film's 1980s and 1990s pop culture references, but also to evoke and enhance the film's story and tone of optimism, innocence, beauty, and a sense of wonder and old-fashioned adventure that many of the Hollywood films of the 1980s and the 1990s utilized to great effect. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Spielberg said of Silvestri's musical score for the film, "While all sorts of culturally iconic references populate Ready Player One (2018), the score that Alan Silvestri composed is completely and intoxicatingly original. It's bound together by multiple themes that identify plot and character and is infused by such percussive adrenaline and soaring strings that Alan has made Ready Player One appear to fly."

During the garage scene, you can see a copy of the ED209 robot from Robocop.

In the end of the first trailer, the song "Jump" by Van Halen transitions to a sample of the intro song of Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990).

Toshiro's virtual avatar 'Daito' is a samurai which resembles Japan's legendary actor Toshiro Mifune who has played a samurai in many films during his long distinguished career.

In one scene near the end of the film, a random citizen can be seen wearing a futuristic version of the HTC VIVE VR headset. HTC participated in promotion of the film with VR arcade and home VR releases of Ready Player One VR mini-experiences with the most recently available VIVE headset.

The teaser trailer contains an orchestral version of the song "Pure Imagination" from the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). It also contains a segment of the song "Tom Sawyer" by Rush.

Parzival's belt in the Oasis has the Thundercats (1985-89) logo on it.

Ernest Cline based the relationship of James Halliday and Ogden Morrow on Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. However, Cline said the primary influence for the technopreneur characters are based on: Nolan Sorrento (Nolan Bushnell, Atari founder) James Halliday (Howard Hughes and Richard Garriott a.k.a Lord British / Ultima developer) Ogden Morrow (Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool News founder)

When we first enter Aech's workshop, Pee-wee's bike from Pee-wee's Big Adventure can be seen in the background.

Michael Keaton was considered for J.D. Halliday.

The character of F'Nale Zandor was not in the book.

A reference to Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) was planned in the screenplay but it was vetoed by Sony Pictures, even though it was one of the first films directed by Steven Spielberg.

The TARDIS from Doctor Who can be seen in the background of the first scene in the shop.

It has been noted that Family Ties (1982) was a major influence on Ernest Cline while writing the book. The series was set in Westerville, Ohio - a suburb of Columbus, the setting of this movie.

The source novel references the TV series Spaced (1999), written by and starring Simon Pegg. Pegg plays Ogden Morrow in the movie.

On August 11, 2015, a rumor began circulating that Steven Spielberg was "courting" Gene Wilder to play OASIS creator James Halliday in his later years, which would've made this the first film Wilder has done since 1999. However, Wilder's Dementia had progressed to a point where he could no longer remember lines and couldn't take the part.

Nolan Sorrento's avatar, the Boss Man is based on Senator Armstrong in the video game Metal Gear Revengeance.

Warner Bros. and producer Donald De Line acquired the adaptation rights to Ernest Cline's novel while it was in galley form in a very aggressive bidding contest, beating rival studios Paramount and 20th Century Fox on 21 June 2010, just the following day after the publishing company Random House won the publication rights. Cline stipulated two conditions in the agreement with the studio: he and Eric Eason gets the first attempt to write the script on his book; Cline wants Steven Spielberg to direct it.

The Cyclops from Ray Harryhausen's "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad"(1958) is seen during the first login scene and the final battle.

This is Steven Spielberg's first movie since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) to be filmed in Panavision (anamorphic).

Elle Fanning and Lola Kirke were considered for the role of Art3mis before Olivia Cooke was cast.

During the final large scale battle, Parzival spawns in a n A41 SPNKR rocket launcher from the Halo series. He uses it to shoot a rocket at the spider mech that Art3mis was on top of.

During the film's final battle sequence, the protagonist of Rooster Teeth Productions' "RWBY," Ruby Rose, can briefly be seen wielding her scythe/sniper rifle Crescent Rose.

A passage from the source novel describes Wade's obsession and "research" of Anorak's Almanac, Halliday's journal chock full of references to 1980s books, movies, TV shows, music, and video games. One of the filmographies that Wade studied from the Almanac was Steven Spielberg.

The film involves finding "Easter eggs" (hidden references), and the film itself opened on Easter weekend.

Apart from the ships and items listed above, in Aech's garage there's also a Viper fighter from Battlestar Galactica (1978), and an EVA Pod from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Steven Spielberg's 33rd film.

Ready Player One (2018) marks the first Steven Spielberg-directed film project for Warner Bros. Pictures since A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001).

During the first race the Silvercup Studios building can be seen seconds after King Kong lands on the track. The Silvercup Studios not only created lots of pop-culture productions, but the building itself is where the last fight of Highlander (1986) takes place.

When Wade and Samantha meet, she's wearing a Peter Saville original tee shirt, the design used for the Joy Division "Unknown Pleasures" album cover. Current value of the shirt is $310.

In the opening scene, Wade takes off his eyeglasses and places them on a vintage metal lunchbox--Masters Of The Universe featuring He-Man--from 1983.

Around the time that Anorak/Halladay gives Parzival/Wade the Big Egg, he says the line "...I was afraid for all my life, right up until the day I knew my life was ending. And that was when I realized that... as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it's also... the only place that... you can get a decent meal." This is an uncredited steal from Groucho Marx, who said, "I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal."

Ernest Cline was heavily inspired by the anime Summer Wars from 2009 (Samâ uôzu) for his novel, but it is not mentioned in the movie despite other anime references.

Some controversy emerged after Tye Sheridan was cast. Casting website Cast It Talent had advertised that the film was seeking "unknown talent" for the lead role. Several people sent in audition videos in hopes of being cast. When news of Sheridan's casting came out less than a day after the casting campaign ended, the reaction of people who auditioned ranged from understanding that they likely wouldn't be picked to outrage because they felt they had been lied to.

Nick Robinson, Nat Wolff, and Dalton Vaughn were considered for the role of Wade Watts/Parzival before Tye Sheridan was cast.

Before the final battle for the Oasis, when Wade is giving his speech, you can see the emblem for the greatest American hero on the side of his headpiece.

First Steven Spielberg film to have 70mm motion picture prints made since Hook in 1991.

Another Steven Spielberg reference can be seen in Halliday's attic, where a poster for Raiders of the Lost Ark can be spotted on the wall.

During the club scene, when Parzival and Art3mis meet you can briefly see Commander Shepard from the poplar video game trilogy Mass Effect awkwardly dancing which is ironic considering in the game it's a running joke that Shepard can't dance.

"Ready Player One" is a phrase from the days of classic video games.

Wade's address is Unit 56K, Columbus stacks. 56K refers to a 56K modem.

During the scene in the dance club where i-R0k tells the girls to leave the booth, the song "Blue Monday" by New Order is playing. In the movie The Wedding Singer (1998) (which is another movie deep in 80s trivia), the same song is playing when Adam Sandler and his co-stars are in a very similar dance club in a nearly identical booth.

Twice Perseus's shield from Clash of the Titans (1981) is seen. First, it's covering the box that holds the Orb of Osuvox and again near the end of the film, it's part of I-R0k's loot that drops.

Tracer from the popular video game Overwatch is voiced by Cara Theobold, who is also the official voice of Tracer in the game. Also, at one point in the Distracted Globe club, a Tracer is seen dancing with a woman, a reference to an Overwatch comic book that revealed that Tracer is a lesbian.

Jane Douglas from the video game YouTube channel Outside Xbox (2009) is an extra in this film. In the first trailer, she's sitting just behind a guy with the numbers 665312 on his helmet.

This will be the fourth time a Steven Spielberg film isn't composed by John Williams, after Duel (1971), The Color Purple (1985), and Bridge of Spies (2015).

The start up screen for the Oasis is very similar to the Start Screen to the Nerve Gear From the Anime Sword Art Online, with Colors flying toward the viewer and the Logo appearing. Sword Art Online has a very similar concept to Ready Player One, but it is unclear if this was a reference or just a coincidence.

In the Halliday Journals building, the floors of rows of video arcade game cabinets are only combinations of Pole Position (1982), Asteroids (1979), Millipede (1982), Pong (1972), Missile Command (1980), Tempest (1981), Dig Dug (1982), and one non-Atari game; Ms. Pac-man (1981).

The virtual reality racing vehicles do the same spiral jump as Roger Moore's James Bond did in live action in The Man With The Golden Gun (1975).

In the final battle scene when the rest of the avatars join in the fight, Parzival is seen holding a boom box above his head, which may be a reference to the 80s film 'Say Anything,' where John Cusack is holding a boom box to show how much he loves his girlfriend. This scene has also been referenced in The Simpsons and many other pop culture outlets. Say Anything was also one of the movies the High-Five clan could've chosen when trying to figure out what movie Halladay went on his date.

The third collaboration of Mark Rylance and Steven Spielberg after Bridge of Spies (2015) and The BFG (2016).

The Curator bears resemblance to the butler mascot of "Ask Jeeves," a search engine from the 90s.

Steven Spielberg's first movie to gross over $100 million domestically since Lincoln.

This will be the first time Steven Spielberg and Simon Pegg have worked together since The Adventures of Tintin (2011).

The film also marks the first Warner Bros. Pictures production since Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) to be co-produced by DreamWorks Pictures. In the case of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), it was co-produced with Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and Amblin Entertainment.

Another 80s reference is the bag of Doritos on the passenger side of the van right after the cataclysm goes off and they find Artemis wandering in the street. unless they remade the iconic logo in a nostalgic rerelease of the famous nacho chips, in the year 2045, they'd be toting around (and/or eating) a 60 year (give or take a couple years) bag of Doritos.

A grey Renault AVANTIME crosses the screen from right to left before we see Aech/Helen's truck hiding when F'Nale Zandor is looking for a USPS truck, Ohio plates, a drone spitter, 2036 model. The Avantime was a futuristic car brought to the market in 2000 by Renault. The name comes from the French word "Avant" that means "ahead" and the English "Time". Only 8,450 units were made at the Matra factory, and just over 5,000 were sold. It still looks futuristic in the year 2,045.

Tye Sheridan plays a character who spends a significant portion of the film wearing a visor over his eyes, just like his character Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).

The Overlook Theatre in the film resembles The Senator Theatre in Baltimore, MD. Director Barry Levinson premiered several films there and is good friends with Steven Spielberg.

In the opening scene, as Wade is leaving his place and "Jump" by Van Halen is playing, David Lee Roth sings "gotta roll with the punches" at the exact moment that the camera passes a woman boxing with OASIS gear on.

Pee-wee Hermans bicycle from Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) can be seen inside Aech's workshop when Aech takes Parzival and Art3mis to repair Art3mis' motorcycle. When Aech turns the lights on inside the workshop, Pee-wee's bicycle is directly under the lights next to the entrance.

When Wade first goes to the club to meet Art3mis, the bartender has a Devo Hat on from their famous video Whip It.

British Actor Paul Barnhill appears in RP1 as Sorrentos Personal assistant (Sorrentos Man). He also appeared in Spielbergs The BFG as the footman that helps BFG into Buckingham Palace.

The Overlook Theatre in Oasis is named after the Hotel of same name in the movie THE SHINING.

Three cast members have also appeared on Game of Thrones (2011): Ralph Ineson, Kae Alexander, and Hannah John-Kamen.

The third collaboration between Mark Rylance and Steven Spielberg after Bridge of Spies and The BFG.

Four cast members have appearances in the MCU: Ben Mendelsohn, Letitia Wright, Ralph Ineson, and Hannah John-Kamen.

Two cast members have appearances in the X-Men universe: Tye Sheridan, and T.J. Miller.

When the Hi-Five hack into Sorrento's immersion pod as OASIS reproductions of their real-life selves, their eyes give off an amber glow. This is a reference to a lighting effect used to differentiate between humans and replicants in Blade Runner (1982).

Daito stays alive throughout the entire movie, while in the book he is murdered by the IOI both in the Oasis and the real world.

In the film Wade receives his Extra Life coin from The Curator. In the book he wins it for discovering and mastering a hidden arcade version of PAC-MAN.

The ship that Daito jumps out towards the end of the film is Serenity from the TV series Firefly.

The Holy Hand Grenade used in the final battle is a callback to the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and also a weapon from the Worms games.

When the IOI Sixers attack Parzival and Art3mis at the Distracted Globe dance club, Art3mis fights back with an M41A1 pulse rifle from Aliens (1986). She is also seen using a Lawgiver from Judge Dredd (1995)

Despite being part of the High Five, Wade Watts or his avatar Parzival are never able to complete a high five: they are always left hanging.

Although Steven Spielberg has stated that many references to himself that are seen in the book have been removed from the film, he has confirmed that Wade will still have his custom DeLorean, which is a prominent element in the Spielberg-produced Back to the Future (1985).

In Halliday's death video announcement, his casket is the same photon torpedo tube in which Spock's body is placed in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).

In the film, the jade key is obtained by living through certain scenes from the movie version of The Shining. In the novel, the copper key is used to open the first gate, which requires the player to live through and recite the entire movie WarGames.

The IOI acronym is a nod to the classic arcade game Pong, which is one of the games young Halliday is playing at the end. (the l's resemble the paddles, while the O is the ball).

When Wade receives the egg at the end and first holds it up, a snippet of the theme song to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (another Spielberg film) begins to play.

A small touch appears on Art3mis' avatar after Parzival meets her in real life: a detail was added on her right eye to reflect the birthmark she carries in reality.

In the book, Parzival and Art3mis don't meet in real life until the end of the story. In the movie, they meet about halfway through the story to place a heavier emphasis on their budding romance.

The scene where the Iron Giant disappears into the lava and gives a thumbs up is a reference to a scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, where the T-800 makes the same gesture as it is lowered into a vat of molten steel.

One of the largest differences between the book and film revolves around the copper key. In the film everyone knows where the key is, and a seemingly impossible auto race frequently occurs to obtain it. In the novel many years go by without anyone knowing where the first key is located, until Perzival discovers an area outside of his school that requires him to navigate a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, before beating a demon in a head to head arcade game of Joust. It's shortly after obtaining the key that he first meets Art3mis, who had been trying to beat the demon at Joust for nearly a month.

A vast majority of the movie is completely different from the book. This includes the riddles and location of the keys, the death of Daito, Art3mis meeting Wade in the second act rather than the end, and the characters running from IOI as Parzival finishes the Third Test.

In the novel the character of Ultraman from Ultraman: A Special Effects Fantasy Series (1966) played a crucial part in the climax of the story. However the rights of the character were in the middle of a legal dispute so the film replaced it with the Iron Giant from The Iron Giant (1999).

The Atari system at Anorak's Castle is connected to a TV set to channel 3. Early video game consoles connected to the TV by connecting to the two antenna terminal screws using a small switch box. This box had an analog sliding switch which could be moved between TV and game mode and could send the game system signal to either channel 2 or channel 3 to avoid interference with local TV stations broadcasting in the area.

At the end of the movie when Wade is in Halliday's room, a Rush poster is visible. This poster was a clue to the Easter egg in the book.

The pistol Parzival uses when he shoots Art3mis to save her ITRW is from the original Battlestar Galactica TV series.

The bomb Artemis tosses that takes out Mecha Godzilla at the end is named Dust Brain, and is a figure from Madballs, a mid 80s toy line of rubber and/or foam balls that were ultimately a fad.

The music throughout the Overlook Hotel scenes is the score used in the film, The Shining (1980). Some shots throughout the sequence are taken from the original film as well, most noticeably some shots during the room 237 scene.

In the novel, Wade finds the Copper Key by adventuring through a recreation of the classic Dungeons & Dragons module "Tomb of Horrors". While that does not take place in the movie, it still references Tomb of Horrors by featuring the iconic "Face of the Great Green Devil" on the back of Aech's van.

In the novel, "The Stacks" where Wade Watts lives are in Oklahoma City and he then moves to Columbus, Ohio. In the movie, he lives in Columbus, Ohio from the beginning.

The OASIS scenes are filmed digitally (except when entering the world of The Shining), while the real world scenes are shot on film, heavily emphasizing the celluloid noise. That provides a subtle clue something is amiss when Sorrento's station is hacked, due to the lack of grain in the digital cinematography.

Despite being a major plot point in the book and a significant part of the first trailer, aside from a character's T-shirt and a poster in Halliday's room Rush play no role at all in the movie.

When Sorrento spawns a Mechagodzilla during the final battle, the theme music from the original 1954 Godzilla film can be heard on the soundtrack.

Sho severs I-Roks arm with the Glave from Krull (1983).

During a panel discussion at San Diego Comic-Con, Steven Spielberg confirmed that the titular character from The Iron Giant (1999) will be a major part of this film.

During the Shining sequence, Parzival pulls Aech out of the freezer that Wendy had locked Jack in. Spielberg also made reference to that sequence in Jurassic Park.

Parzival's team call themselves the High Five- 101 (IOI) in binary is the number 5. Though, this has nothing to do with why they are called "the High Five." They are so called due to the fact that they were the first five players on the leaderboard.

The riddle giving the location for the crystal key is quickly read, but it's solved by IOI before the High Five can decifer it and its meaning is not explained by anyone, leaving some watchers confused. The clue says to divide the "ultimate number" by the "magic number". The ultimate number is 42, as explained in Douglas Adams' 'Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and the magic number is 3, as mentioned in a song from Schoolhouse Rock. 42÷3=14, and sector 14 was the location of Anorak's castle. In the book, there is a riddle about the "magic number", but it explained how to open the final gate, not find it. The number 42 is not part of any clue in the book.

The first date outfit Wade tries on is Prince's coat that is worn on album covers Dirty Mind, Controversy, and Purple Rain. The Prince track "I wanna be your lover" is also heard early in the film.

In the scene where Halliday awards his Easter egg in his childhood home, young Halliday is playing a console game on the floor nearby. The system he is playing is the Colecovision, the game he is playing is Gorf, and the level he is on is the final boss, Flag Ship. And yes he beats the boss, which is why we see he has 1 life left, and avoids the projectile fired from the enemy ship, even though we immediately see the words "game over" appear before he stands up.

Nolan Sorrento's (Ben Mendelsohn) password written on the yellow post-it-note is B055man69.

A reference to Spielberg can be found in the first part of the race where the T-Rex from Jurassic Park pops up with the familiar growling sound and appearance.

Wade's avatar, Parzival is an obvious reference to Percival, the knight in the Holy Grail legend. Throughout the film, several moments occurred alluding to the legend: Percival means "old fool" in old English. In the first half of the film, Wade is naive to the reality until a tragedy happens. Percival's jacket has a sword image behind it. He's the knight that discovers the Holy Grail at the end of the quest, just as Wade finds the Easter egg at the end. In the legend, Percival brings redemption to the Fisher King Amfortas. A conversation and a promise between Wade and James Halliday towards the end about correcting Halliday's mistake subsequently redeems both of them. Percival receives a cosmic awakening after kissing Kundry, as in parallel with Wade kissing Samantha the first time. Percival fights the Red Knight. In parallel, Parzival fights i-R0k for the Easter egg at Planet Doom.

One of the lapel pins on Halliday's suit during his death video is a miniature of Simon, a popular electronic game from Milton-Bradley in which you needed to match lights by pressing four buttons in the same sequence they lit. Although a very popular game in the 1980s, the pin represents the game in its "modern", 21st century version (black disc shaped, with the buttons in each quadrant).

In the video where Halliday is revealed to be dead, he has quarters over his eyes. Later in the film, the Curator gives Parzival a quarter that grants its user an extra life in the OASIS. This is a hint to Halliday's fate in the film: Although his body is physically dead, his spirit lives on in the OASIS until a worthy heir is found.

The throwing weapon used by saito to disarm irock at the end of the film is the Glaive from the film Krull .

When Wade first meets Samantha (Arty's real-life counterpart), he discovers she has a birthmark on her face. Initially, she hides it under her hair out of embarrassment. But as she and Wade fall in love, her hair slowly moves away from her face. First, it's simply tucked behind her left ear. Later, it's in a low ponytail. In the final scene (after the High Five gain control of the OASIS and Wade and Samantha are happily living together), her hair is up in double buns.

The Serenity ship (from Firefly series 2002-2003 and Serenity film 2005) delivers Toshiro when he decides to join the final battle. He also donned a classic Gundam 1988 robot avatar when he landed for the fight.

Win Morisaki playing as Daito has a character skin in the Oasis from Gundam. Win played Dango Inamoto in the Kamen Rider W series. There is a PSP game that has both characters in it called Heroes VS: Gundam x Ultraman x Kamen Rider.

In Aech's garage when Parzival is deciding what to wear for his in-game date with Artemis a Goldie Wilson election poster from Back to the Future (1985) can be seen on the wall.

Two first-generation Nissan Leafs (2011-2017) appear in the movie. The police car Sorrento and F'Nale are loaded into and a blue burnt-out vehicle near the end of the movie.

When Parzival is talking to Halliday in Halliday's attic bedroom, we see a shot of a young Halliday playing his Atari 2600 and on the floor Big Trak can be seen. Big Trak was a toy vehicle from the '80's that could be programmed to follow inputted coordinates to a final destination. With it's trailer attached it could go to the kitchen, have a sandwich placed in the trailer and could then return to you complete with lunch!

There is a possible reference to the Anime/ Light Novel Series Sword Art Online. Both series happen to be about the Virtual World and both End with the main character receiving Ownership of the Main Video Game from the Creator in the form of an Egg shaped object (in SAO it's referred to as "The Seed".) both series also imply the Creator may actually still be alive inside the Virtual Reality.