5 Unlikely Pop Culture Influences On Nintendo Games

It's often easy to forget the geniuses who put together our favourite titles were influenced by others too.

In 2014 the generations that grew up on video games, Nicktoons, and even first generation Pokemon are now of age and looking back upon their more innocent years with a new perspective. Most pop culture references, homages, and borrowed tropes flew over our heads back in the day; for example were we aware that the Squeaky Boots episode of SpongeBob SquarePants was in fact one big Edgar Allan Poe reference? That A Bug's Life was essentially Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai...with bugs? Or how about the constant pop culture references batted over our heads in Earthbound? Nintendo games were the lynchpin of many of our collective childhoods; no matter what time period over the past twenty five years you were born, you probably have a Nintendo game console to identify with (okay, maybe you were into Sega or PlayStation, but play along). And while we were just dumb, uncultured little kids enjoying the brutal massacre of thousands of harmless turtles and weird mushroom things with dental problems, you gotta remember the teams who made these games were grown men and women sitting around a conference table spouting off ideas, possibly with the help of mind-expanding substances (you know, like caffeine). They carried a vast knowledge of pop culture from decades past, so in many cases these influences were absorbed into the game development process. Here's just a few similarities between Nintendo games and outside sources you may not have noticed before.
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Doug is a freelance writer, being a head reporter on and a contributor to sites like and If you wish to reach out to Doug, contact him at