List of references in the Kirby series
- This article is about references within the Kirby series to things outside it. For the inverse list, see List of references to the Kirby series.
This page consists of a list of references to outside media in Kirby media (games, the anime, et cetera). This list does not include internal references to other Kirby series material or general fictional tropes shared between large amounts of media. Note that, with some exceptions, the vast majority of these references are not concretely confirmed, and that this list is not exhaustive.
- The Doctor ability shares similar moves to Dr. Mario's appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series.
- The ESP ability, along with its associated enemy NESP, is a nod to Ness's psychic powers in EarthBound. The Yo-Yo ability also references Ness's proficiency with yo-yos.
- The Fighter ability takes inspiration from moves in the Street Fighter series, including the Hadoken, the Shoryuken, and the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku.
- The Mecha ability's appearance strongly resembles the Gundam from the Mobile Suit Gundam series.
- The Air Drop technique associated primarily with the Ninja ability is primarily inspired by 飯綱落とし (Izuna Drop): a fictional ninjutsu attack from the manga Kamui Gaiden, which is well known as the signature move of the protagonist Kamui. This attack has since become a common homage in Japanese works, Ninja Kirby being one of them.
- The Smash Bros. ability's name and moveset are based on Kirby's moveset from the Super Smash Bros. series.
- The Staff ability is a possible reference to Sun Wukong, from Journey to the West.
- Some of Kirby's rarer Stone transformations are references to other video game series, such as Mario, Metroid, and BoxBoy!.
- The Sword ability references Link from The Legend of Zelda.
- The Whip ability is most likely a reference to action-adventure film hero Indiana Jones.
- The Wrestler ability shares similar moves to Incineroar's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Characters and enemies
- Adeleine slightly resembles Satsuki Kusakabe, a character from the Studio Ghibli animated film My Neighbor Totoro, in body proportions and hair color, although their color scheme and interests differ from each other.
- Apolo resembles (and is presumably named after) a type of chocolate confection called 「アポロ」Aporo (Apollo), which is produced by Meiji and sold in Japan. This is likely the reason why Kirby is healed when he swallows one.
- Bo is extremely similar in look to the Black Boe from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Both that game and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards shared a release year (2000), so it is possible the enemy was developed for one game, then borrowed for the other.
- Booler resembles the Boo enemy from the Mario franchise.
- Burning Leo seems to be inspired by the guardian lions of Chinese culture. Burning Leo's hair vaguely resembles that of a guardian lion, and his name may also reflect his relation to them.
- Capsule J bears resemblance to the titular character of Konami's TwinBee series.
- Chef Kawasaki is named after Kawasaki motorcycles.
- Computer Virus - the boss from Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra - appears to be a reference to classical Japanese RPGs such as the Dragon Quest games. Its windows in Kirby Super Star are also based on those of the Classic Mac OS.
- Cret and Tury are very similar in appearance to Lakitu from the Super Mario games.
- Efreeti's name is likely based on the Efreet (more commonly known as Ifrit), a demon in Islamic mythology.
- Gabon bears similarities to both the Pokémon Cubone and Marowak, as well as the Little Skull Mouser enemies from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, due to the fact that all of these creatures wear oversized skulls over their heads, as well as the fact that both Gabon and the Cubone line throw bones to attack and the fact that both Gabon and Little Skull Mousers can be unmasked.
- Gator from Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra is based on the gators from the HAL Laboratory game Revenge of the 'Gator. This reference is made more specific with the gator-based attack from Kirby Quest in Kirby Mass Attack.
- Gobchomplin looks and behaves similarly to a Piranha Plant from the Super Mario series.
- Great Gear's visage bears a strong resemblance to the famous Aztec sun stone found in the ruins of Tenochtitlan.
- Grindarr, I³, and Thudd are similar to that of Thwomps from the Mario franchise in how they look and operate.
- Gruegloom is very similar to (and its name possibly inspired by) a much older video game monster called the Grue, which would eat anyone who ventured out into the dark.
- Haley appears to be named after Halley's Comet; a fitting name given its comet-like appearance and its common sightings in outer-space regions.
- Kabula's modern look, starting with Kirby Super Star Ultra, resembles Banzai Bill, with some of her projectiles bearing a much more direct resemblance.
- Keke resembles the eponymous protagonist of Kiki's Delivery Service, a 1985 Japanese novel and subsequent 1989 animated film.
- Kirby himself was named in part to honor the late attorney John Kirby, who defended Nintendo from a lawsuit from Universal Studios over the use of "Kong" in the name "Donkey Kong".
- Lololo & Lalala are directly taken from the Eggerland series, where they were originally known as "Lolo" and "Lala".
- Master Hand & Crazy Hand appear as bosses in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, hailing from the Super Smash Bros. series. They would make cameo appearances in a few subsequent titles.
- Moto Shotzo is based on the playable tank from the HAL Laboratory game Trax.
- Mumbies typically share a similar behavior to that of the aformentioned Boo enemy from the Mario franchise in Super Mario games.
- Pacto bears a vague resemblance to that of Namco's mascot Pac-Man.
- Phanta bears a vague resemblance to the Pokémon Duskull.
- Pompey's name may be a reference to the old Roman town of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius.
- Pon & Con are a reference to the recurring duo of the tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) and kitsune (fox) in Japanese folklore.
- Simirror resembles earlier appearances of Wizzrobe, an enemy of The Legend of Zelda series.
- Spark-i could be a reference to Ramiel, the 5th Angel from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Their appearances are similar (both being blue octahedra). In addition, Spark-i's Japanese name (ラミ Rami) is two characters shy from Ramiel's (ラミエル Ramieru).
- Starting with Kirby: Triple Deluxe, a few bosses (like the Winged Eggers, and Whispy Woods and his derivatives) use the same roar as the kaiju, Mothra, albeit severely pitched-down and slowed down.
- Squishy bears resemblance to the Blooper enemy from the Mario franchise in both appearance and behavior.
- Starman's name may be a reference to the Starman enemy from the EarthBound series.
- Togezo is very similar in design to the Mario franchise enemy, Spiny, sharing names with that enemy in the Japanese releases of Kirby's Adventure and Kirby's Dream Land 3.
- Two Face is likely based off of the Phanto from Super Mario Bros. 2 in appearance.
- Wappa's Japanese name is "Wampa", a reference to the species from Star Wars of the same name.
- Zoos' name is a pun on the Greek god Zeus. This is compounded by the fact that it throws lightning from a cloud.
References by game
The following are more specific references by game which are not mentioned in the characters section above:
Kirby's Dream Land
- Many areas of Castle Lololo are decorated with blocks that are marked with question marks, likely referencing ? Blocks from the Mario universe.
Kirby's Pinball Land
- By default, the scores listed on the leaderboard have the names 'ZEPHYRA', 'PHYSALI', 'DENDROB', and 'GERBERA'. These names are references to the Gundam series—specifically, they are abbreviated names of mecha from the anime Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
- Kirby's Avalanche - being effectively a reskin of the Japanese game Super Puyo Puyo - shares many commonalities with that title.
Kirby's Dream Land 2
- In the Japanese version of Kirby's Dream Land 2, one of the characters that Kirby can rescue from a bag is Chao from the Japanese game Yūyūki. She is replaced with the character Girl blob in international releases.
- Additionally, the image depicting Kirby, Rick, Kine and Coo inside a tavern in the Sound Test screen is a recreation of a scene from Yūyūki.
Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra
- Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Wario make a cameo appearance in Spring Breeze, as part of the audience watching Kirby battle King Dedede. Several of these characters can also be seen in Megaton Punch.
- The world map in Dyna Blade functions very similarly to the world maps in Super Mario Bros. 3. Furthermore, the moving "E" symbol behaves similarly to the latter's Hammer Bros. Enemy Course symbol on the map.
- The first room in Peanut Plains is structured in a similar vein to the opening room of the first level in Super Mario Bros. 2, as both have the player descend down a mountain-like set of platforms before entering a door on the bottom of the room. The resemblance is made more noticeable in Kirby Super Star Ultra, as the colors of the terrain bear more of a resemblance to those found in Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Additionally, in Kirby Super Star, the second room in ??? bears resemblance to Subspace as it appears in the NES version of Super Mario Bros. 2, with the terrain entirely set in silhouette against a solid-color background. This resemblance is less noticeable in Kirby Super Star Ultra, as it now uses a nighttime version of the grassland tileset.
- Many of the treasures in the Great Cave Offensive are also references to other Nintendo franchises, such as Mario, Metroid, EarthBound, Fire Emblem, and Donkey Kong.
- The ending theme of Revenge of Meta Knight - My Friend and the Sunset - is partially based on the traditional folk song "The House of the Rising Sun", particularly the 1964 blues cover by British rock band The Animals. The credits sequence, which features Wheelie Rider Kirby riding through a barren desert at sunset, appears to be a reference to the credits sequence of the 1971 anime Lupin the Third Part I.
- In the Milky Way Wishes stage Halfmoon, one of the background decorations in the starry areas is an image of Saturn's moon Mimas.
Kirby's Dream Land 3
- Several of the friendly characters that Kirby helps are cameos from other video games. More details can be found on the Heart Star page.
- Metroids appear as enemies in this game, as part of a mission involving Samus Aran.
- Hyper Zone shares its name with HyperZone, an earlier Super NES title made by HAL Laboratory.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
- The planet Shiver Star, which serves as one of the levels in the game, bears a striking resemblance to Earth, albeit frozen over.
- The Spark-Cutter Power Combo gives Kirby a staff with blades of light extending from both ends. This weapon looks nearly identical to that of the MS-14S sword from Mobile Suit Gundam, but it could also likely be a reference to the double-bladed lightsaber first seen in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace—which came out a year before Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards released—and elsewhere in the Star Wars franchise.
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble
- The way levels are structured in this game is strikingly similar to the layout of the original Super Mario Bros., with eight levels consisting of four stages each, each fourth stage being a castle setting with a boss at the end, and two hidden places where the player can skip levels, similar to Super Mario Bros.' three Warp Zones.
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
- The North American commercial for Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land used a parody of "Secret Agent Man" as its music, with the lyrics altered to describe Kirby instead.
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
- The concept of Kirby possessing three copies of himself to help him is similar to Link receiving three copies of himself in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords.
Kirby: Canvas Curse
- Some of the objects that Paint Roller can paint in Paint Panic are references to other media, as follows:
- A Nintendo GameCube.
- The logo of the Super Smash Bros. series.
- The Triforce from The Legend of Zelda.
Kirby's Epic Yarn / Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
- The boss Squashini is named after the famous escape artist Harry Houdini.
Kirby Mass Attack
- The core gameplay concept of Kirby Mass Attack is very similar to that of the Pikmin games, though more heavily focused on action and platforming rather than strategy.
- The Kirby Mass Attack sub-game Kirby Quest has several references to media outside the Kirby series, as follows:
- The title screen and logo are a direct reference to a 1992 video game produced by HAL Laboratory called Arcana. The sub-game's Japanese and Korean name, "Kirby Master", is a reference to Arcana's own Japanese name, Card Master.
- The game over screen is a direct reference to a scene from the opening of Arcana, with Dark Matter in place of the wizard Galneon. This scene was the same one in which Kirby made a cameo appearance a month before his official debut.
- One of Kirby's "Excellent" attacks calls on a horde of 66 Gators to attack the enemies. This is a reference to the 1989 Game Boy game Revenge of the 'Gator (ピンボール66匹のワニ大行進, Pinball: The Great 66-Alligator Parade), also produced by HAL Laboratory.
- Another "Excellent" attack has Kirby ride a Moto Shotzo while being chased by a mechanical dragon with boxing gloves that highly resembles a boss from HAL Laboratories' 1991 game Trax. As mentioned above, Moto Shotzo itself greatly resembles Trax's main protagonist.
- The title screen and logo are a direct reference to a 1992 video game produced by HAL Laboratory called Arcana. The sub-game's Japanese and Korean name, "Kirby Master", is a reference to Arcana's own Japanese name, Card Master.
- Similarly to how Kirby Quest references Arcana, the title screen, logo, and gameplay of Strato Patrol EOS reference 宇宙警備隊 SDF (Uchuu Keibitai SDF), a 1990 video game produced by HAL Laboratory.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
- Goriath is a possible reference to Saiyan warriors from the Dragon Ball franchise. This includes the change in hair colors similar to the Super Saiyan transformation and the beam attacks being a nod to the Kamehameha Wave. Additionally, Goriath's primate traits are connected to the Saiyans themselves (hinted at by their long tails resembling those of Goku's inspiration, Sun Wukong, from the 16th Century Chinese novel Journey to the West), especially their Great Ape transformations on nights of a full moon.
- The Stomper Boot item appears to be based on the Goomba's Shoe from the Super Mario series, as it functions in much the same way.
- In some areas throughout the game, a variant of Scarfies known as Hunter Scarfies appear. The actions of these Scarfies are similar to those of the Phanto enemies from Super Mario Bros. 2, as they only attack when Kirby or one of his friends picks up a Key.
- The name Halcandra may be a reference to the naming scheme of planets in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy novels, such as "Malacandra" (Mars).
- The star visible on the mast of the Lor Starcutter during the Lor & Magolor and Lor EX & Magolor boss battles strongly resembles the Dark Star and Dark Star X from the original Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
- The "Hidden Magolors" that can be found in Merry Magoland in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe are likely a parody of Hidden Mickeys from the Disney Parks, which are symbols of Mickey Mouse hidden in the architecture or landscaping.
- Magolor's description of Merry Magoland as "the funnest place in the whole universe" is also a possible reference to the slogan of Disneyland, "the happiest place on earth".
Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition
- The first area in the New Challenge Stages stage Smash Combat Chamber features a layout similar to the Battlefield stage in the Super Smash Bros. series. In addition, the distinct ability-providing enemies that appear in sequence to fight Kirby there is likely a reference to Multi-Man Smash.
- The Kirby's History hallway makes numerous mentions of real world events that coincided with the release of certain Kirby games.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
- The Dreamstalk is a nod to the fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.
- The end of Old Odyssey's 5th stage is a reference to The Three Little Pigs.
- The battle with King Phanta may be a reference to Luigi's Mansion, the piano specifically might be a reference to the Mad Piano from Super Mario 64 and its remakes.
- In the game's backstory, Queen Sectonia is said to have been bewitched by a magic mirror and driven mad with the desire for perfect beauty and power. This is likely a nod to the tale of Snow White, particularly the character of the Evil Queen who also possesses a magic mirror and desires both beauty and power.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
- In Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, there is an area of the stage Infiltrate the Junk Factory! where Kirby picks up some Invincible Candy and defeats several Shockcreepas in a vertical maze consisting of tight corridors. This scenario is very similar to the Pac-Man arcade game, mainly due to the nature of the Shockcreepas, the layout of the room, and the fact that lines of Point Stars appear in a similar manner to dots on a Pac-Man board.
- Some of the Play Nintendo comics feature references to other games:
- The comic "Saved by the Rainbow" takes places in a Super Smash Bros. game.
- In the comic "An Evening Out", Kirby takes on the persona of Mario from the Mario franchise.
- In the comic "The Waddle Dee Three", the green Waddle Dee says "I am error", referencing the same infamous line from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
- Qbby from the BOXBOY! series makes an appearance as one of the collectable stickers.
- One of Kirby's rare Stone transformations in this game depicts Tom Nook from the Animal Crossing series.
- Star Dream somewhat resembles the HAL 9000, a fictional sentient computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and after whom HAL Laboratory is named.
- The way Star Dream's third form teleports may be a reference to the Gorgon boss from Star Fox 64 and its remake.
- Kirby's final attack on Star Dream may be a reference to the Giga Drill Break attack from the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann anime series.
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe / Super Kirby Clash
- In Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Super Kirby Clash, one of the Hammer Lord's purchasable weapons - the Lucky Mallet - is directly based on a common luck symbol in Japan. Likenesses of the mallet can be seen in the real world as decoration, as well as charms and trinkets.
Kirby Battle Royale
- One of Kirby's headgear for the Bomb ability is based on Qbby, unlocked with the Japan-exclusive Qbby amiibo.
- One of Meta Knight's headgear, the Party Mask, may be a reference to Tuxedo Mask from the Sailor Moon series.
Kirby Star Allies
- The Plasma move 'Light-Speed Dash' functions similar to that of Quick Attack, a move commonly associated with the Pokémon Pikachu.
- Yggy Woods is named after Yggdrasil, an ancient and sacred tree in Norse legends.
- Hyness shares several similarities with Zant from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, as both have violent mood swings, are dressed in a cloak and seek to restore a higher being that was once sealed away. Both Hyness and Zant also turn out to be more insane than they initially appear.
- Void Termina's first form bears a striking resemblance to Beast Ganon from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- Qbby cameos in one of Kirby's rare Stone transformations.
- Morpho Knight may be based upon valkyries, deities in Norse legends who choose those who live and those who die in preparation for Ragnarök ("judgment day"). Its Japanese name appears to incorporate the words "valkyrie" and "Freyja", a Norse goddess sometimes depicted as the leader of the valkyries.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Kirby's Mouthful Mode transformations are very similar in concept and functionality to the Capture mechanic from Super Mario Odyssey.
- The "KIRBYSTORY" Present Code found inside the Waddle Dee Cinema may be a reference to Kirby's cameo in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, in which he appears on a movie poster titled Kirby Story within the Yoshi Theater.
- Toy Hammer, one of Kirby's Evolved Copy Abilities, is based on a popular children's toy in Japan.
- The Wondaria Dream Parade could be a nod to the Main Street Electrical Parade, a nighttime parade that has made numerous appearances in Disney parks over the years. The music that plays throughout the stage is very similar to the real life parade's theme song, the Baroque Hoedown.
- Additionally, the mascots of Wondaria, Wondog and Wondy, could be seen as analogous to Mickey and Minnie Mouse, given that they are pre-existing characters who formed the basis for the park.
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
The anime series Kirby: Right Back at Ya! is packed full of references to other media and events, with several episodes being directly based on other media or even real world events. Characters also make frequent references to other media through their dialogue.
Many of the titles of episodes directly reference other media, as follows:
- Japanese titles
- The Fish Who Loved Me - The Spy Who Loved Me, a spy film from 1977 based on the 1962 novel of the same name.
- Viva! Welcome to DedeVegas - Viva Las Vegas, a musical film from 1964 starring Elvis Presley.
- Ultimate Iron Man Cook Osaka - Iron Chef, a Japanese cooking TV show from the 1990s.
- A Midsummer Night's Scream! - A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of the comedic plays of William Shakespeare.
- English titles
- The Fofa Factor - Fear Factor, an American reality TV show aired in the early 2000s.
- Escargoon Squad - The Monster Squad, an American comedy/horror film from 1987.
- A Fish Called Kine - A Fish Called Wanda, a 1988 British-American heist comedy film.
- Here Comes the Son - "Here Comes the Sun", a 1969 song by British rock group the Beatles.
- Hour of the WolfWrath - Hour of the Wolf, a Swedish horror film from 1968.
- A Spice Odyssey - 2001: A Space Odyssey, a 1968 science fiction story written by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick and directed by the latter.
- War of the Woods - The War of the Worlds, an 1897 science fiction story by English author H.G. Wells.
- The Chill Factor - another reference to Fear Factor.
- Waddle While You Work - "Whistle While You Work", a song from the 1937 animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- Born to Be Mild - Born to Be Wild, a 1968 song by Canadian-American psychedelic rock band Steppenwolf.
- Hunger Struck - "Thunderstruck", a 1990 song by Australian hard rock group AC/DC.
- Cappy Town Down - Black Hawk Down, a non-fiction book from 1999 which was later adapted into a movie of the same name in 2001.
References by episode
Beware: Whispy Woods!
In the Japanese version of Beware: Whispy Woods!, King Dedede remarks after building his country club that though Whispy Woods is gone, Tiger Woods is now here, in reference to the name and occupation of the famous golf player.
There are numerous references to other T.V. shows and media in Un-Reality TV, mainly revolving around the show titles for Channel DDD. Specific references include the following:
- "Wheel of Head Wounds" references Wheel of Fortune.
- "Dededeep Space Nine" references Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- "Globzilla" references Godzilla.
- "King Klong" references King Kong. The real-life baseball team, the Houston Astros is also referenced.
- "Who Wants to Be a Dedede?" references Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
- "Everybody Loves Dedede" references Everybody Loves Raymond.
- King Dedede's line "Hasta la vista, chump!" references the line "Hasta la vista, baby!" from the 1991 science-fiction action film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
- Escargoon's line "Ahh, Sire, the studio's gone with the wind!" references the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind by American writer Margaret Mitchell.
More references exist in the Japanese version, as follows:
- "Super Dededeman" references the American comic book franchise Superman.
- "It's Dedede, Everyone Come On!" references a Japanese T.V. show called 8時だョ！全員集合 (It's 8 O' Clock, Everyone Come On!).
- "Dedede Mystery Discovery" references a Japanese T.V. show called 世界不思議発見 (World Mystery Discovery).
- "Gone with the Planet of the Apes" is a portmanteau of Gone with the Wind and the Planet of the Apes franchise.
Curio's Curious Discovery
The overall plot of Curio's Curious Discovery is likely a reference to the Japanese Paleolithic hoax, in which an archaeologist made famous for stone age tool discoveries was eventually ousted as a fraud when he was caught planting artifacts at dig sites.
Cappy New Year
In the Japanese version of Cappy New Year, Escargoon refers to his rocket as the "Teppoudon", which is a reference to the North Korean ballistic missile called "Taepo Dong". Additionally, while Kirby is being flung around by the robotic arm, King Dedede says he'll "have Kirby depart on his 2,001-year space odyssey", explicitly referring to the science fiction story of the same name (while also making reference to the year that the episode first aired).
In the Japanese version of Labor Daze, Tiff remarks that the pollution from King Dedede's factory is severely damaging the environment of Dream Land, which could result in a "Silent Spring". This is a reference to the famous environmental science book of the same name, published in 1962.
In the Japanese version of Abusement Park, when the Dream Landers are fighting over the Walky in the karaoke contest, Mayor Len attempts to sing "Y.M.C.A." by the Village People but gets the acronym wrong, singing "Y.W.C.A." instead. Sir Ebrum later tries to sing Tony Bennett's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and Frank Sinatra's "My Way".
A Dental Dilemma
In the Japanese version of A Dental Dilemma, Lady Like promises Tuff a "CubeGame" if he goes to the dentist, which is likely a reference to the Nintendo GameCube; the newest Nintendo console out at the time.
In the Japanese version of Watermelon Felon, an advertisement appears on Channel DDD promoting "DDDLAND", which is a reference to Disneyland.
A Novel Approach
The premise of A Novel Approach revolves around characters reading a new bestselling novel called Pappy Pottey and the Fool's Stone, which is a direct reference to the 1997 fantasy novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Likewise, the story also features Castle Dedede stylized as a "magic school" similar to Hogwarts, and a character called Rowlin appears, who is a stand-in for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
Prediction Predicament - Part II
In the Japanese version of Prediction Predicament - Part II, the asteroid heading towards Dream Land is called Phantom Star Gerath, which is a reference to the Japanese film Gorath, which involves a white dwarf star heading directly toward Earth. Additionally, in the Japanese version, King Dedede sings a song on the swings that translates to, "Life is short... Fall in love, Dedede..." This is a reference to a famous Japanese film called Ikiru, directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Scare Tactics - Part II
In Scare Tactics - Part II, King Dedede and Escargoon reenact the murder in the shower scene from the 1960 horror film Psycho, directed by English filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.
Don't Bank on It
The ending of Don't Bank on It references the final scene in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Snack Attack - Part II
Some of the Martial Arts All-Stars that Kirby faces in Snack Attack - Part II are references, as follows:
- Kung-Fu Lee is a reference to Chinese-American martial artist Bruce Lee, who is credited with popularizing kung fu in the United States.
- Boxer Dyson is a reference to American boxer Mike Tyson.
- Karate Kid is named after the American martial arts film franchise of the same name.
One Crazy Knight
The guest character of One Crazy Knight – Sir Gallant – is a reference to the main character of the 1605 novel Don Quixote by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes. Likewise, the monster that features in this episode – the Windwhipper – references a scene from the novel where Don Quixote attacks a row of windmills, mistaking them for giants.
Mabel Turns the Tables
The scene in Mabel Turns the Tables where Mabel and Kirby part the sea is a reference to the biblical Book of Exodus, where the Abrahamic prophet Moses parts the Red Sea with Yahweh's power to help the Hebrews escape the Egyptian army.
The Meal Moocher
In the Japanese version of The Meal Moocher, after Cook Kirby defeats the Garnie by frying it to death, Dedede admits that he doesn't feel like eating crab anymore, slipping into a Kansai dialect as he does so. The accent's use in this context acts as a reference to Kani Dōraku, a famous seafood restaurant in Osaka (a city in the Kansai region) distinguished by the giant animatronic crab above the front door.
The Kirby Quiz
In The Kirby Quiz, the N.M.E. Sales Guy reveals that the winners of the game show will receive a trip to "Planet Hawahu". This is a reference to the real-world location of Hawaii, and the image shown appears to be that of the city Honolulu.
Waddle While You Work
In Waddle While You Work, the scene where King Dedede eats a turnip and cries out that he will never go hungry again is a reference to Gone with the Wind.
This episode revolves around a giant moth-like monster called Mosugaba who lives on a remote island with two tiny fairy twins called the Island Sisters. These are direct references to the equivalent characters from the Japanese monster film Mothra.
In both parts of Fossil Fools, numerous references to both the science fiction film Jurassic Park and the H.G. Wells story The Island of Doctor Moreau are made, with the latter primarily taking the form of the villain Doctor Moro.
The episode Dedede's Monsterpiece revolves around the Dream Landers looking at several examples of real-world famous paintings and sculptures.
Right Hand Robot
In Right Hand Robot, the scene where Escargoon empowers the Escar-droid using lightning is a reference to the 1931 film adaptation of the 1818 science horror novel Frankenstein by English writer Mary Shelley. In the film, Victor Frankenstein uses lightning to bring the Creature to life; the process of making and animating him was left deliberately vague in the original book.
In the English version of Goin' Bonkers, several characters have lines that reference the 1968 science-fiction movie Planet of the Apes. Additionally, while Bonkers is in his monster form, his actions mimic scenes from the 1933 monster movie King Kong. Lastly, in the Japanese version, when Bonkers first shows up, Chef Kawasaki speculates that Bonkers might be a Terminator.
Cooking Up Trouble
In the Japanese version of Cooking Up Trouble, the monster SlicerDicer is named "Cookinger Z", a clear reference to the influential super robot series Mazinger Z and its titular mecha.
In Shell-Shocked, when King Dedede is imagining what Escargoon would look like without his shell, he pictures the famous painting The Birth of Venus with modifications to make Venus resemble Escargoon.
There are several references to cartoons and other subjects related to animation and film in Tooned Out, as follows:
- In the Japanese version, King Dedede mentions that his animation aspirations had "gone with the wind" while the recap montage shows the scene in Waddle While You Work, which references Gone with the Wind.
- The monster Anige is initially disguised as "Dis Walney", who is an amalgamation of American animator and businessman Walt Disney and Japanese manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka. In the Japanese version, he is named "Owalt Dezney", making the portmanteau more obvious.
- Several of the ideas that the townsfolk come up with are references to other popular cartoons and films.
- Gangu proposes a cartoon where a space hero fights monsters only to find out that he is actually a toy. This references the plot of the 1995 animated film Toy Story.
- Professor Curio proposes "Curio Jones", which is inspired by Indiana Jones.
- Some references exist only in the Japanese version:
- Mayor Len proposes a character called "Wooltaro". This is a reference to the popular anime series Hamtaro.
- Doctor Yabui proposes an idea for a medical anime called "White Jack". This refers to the medical suspense manga Black Jack, which has received numerous adaptations as Osamu Tezuka's second most famous work after Astro Boy.
- Iro proposes a robot character called "Ovangelidan". This is a reference to the 1995 anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Honey proposes a cartoon idea similar to the 1989 animated film Kiki's Delivery Service.
Born to Be Mild
Melman's alter-ego "Steppenwolf" is a reference to the band of the same name.
In the Japanese version of Hunger Struck, when King Dedede and Escargoon are being chased by the Waddle Dees, Escargoon says a line that translates to "This is a revolt! No... it's a revolution!" This may be a reference to the famous line offered to King Louis XVI of France when the Bastille was stormed in 1789.
In the Japanese version of Cowardly Creature, when King Dedede is hammering Phan Phan, he repeats a line that translates to "Defense only!" This is a reference to Japan's policy that its armed forces are for self-defense only.
In Frog Wild, the way Mabel reacts after Devil Kirby cracks her crystal ball in two is a reference to the 1893 painting The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
Cappy Town Down
In the Japanese version of Cappy Town Down, when King Dedede and Escargoon first see the Halberd, they reference the anime Space Battleship Yamato, which the Halberd itself was based on. The composer for the Japanese version of the anime, Akira Miyagawa, has worked on the Space Battleship Yamato franchise and is the son of the series' original composer, Hiroshi Miyagawa.
The monster Lobzilla is named after the film monster Godzilla in English; his name is エビゾウ (Ebizō) in Japanese, after a famous family line of kabuki actors, Ichikawa Ebizō. Fittingly, he gives Kirby the Kabuki ability. Kabuki Kirby's human form resembles warrior-monk Saitô Musashibô Benkei (西塔武蔵坊弁慶) from feudal Japan, specifically his appearance in the Japanese dance-drama Kanjinchô. Notably, Benkei was portrayed by Ichikawa Ebizô V, which ties further into the reference.
- The Japanese name of the Booma-Dooma Volcano, Gilauea, is a reference to the Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii.
- The location Babagahara is likely a reference to the real-world Japanese forest Aokigahara, also known as the Sea of Trees, located near Mount Fuji.
- The veteran Star Warriors Sir Arthur, Sir Galahad, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Percival are named after various Knights of the Round Table.
- The giant Destroya starships greatly resemble the alien motherships from the science fiction film Independence Day.
- eNeMeE's Fortress is very similar to the Death Star from the Star Wars franchise.
- In Kirby Manga Mania Volume 1, there is a comic strip named "Mario Kirby" in which Kirby dresses as Mario, and says he will rescue "Princess Peaches". King Dedede tries to correct him, but with no success. At the end, Princess Peach herself shows up, saying it might be easier to just go with "Peaches".
- In Kirby Manga Mania Volume 2, Chapter 4: Hero Kirby Appears! contains numerous parodies of tropes found in RPGs such as the Dragon Quest series. Similarly, Chapter 5: Operation Secret Kirby Agents! contains numerous references to media such as the James Bond and Mission: Impossible film series.
- In Hoshi no Kirby: KiraKira Pupupu World Volume 1, two of the 4koma strips feature Kirby meeting Qbby. Kirby compliments Qbby on his ability to make boxes. Qbby then asks Kirby what his special ability is, and Kirby answers by saying that he can inhale. Afterwards, Kirby ends up inhaling Qbby and the nearby boxes created by him.