Persona 5’s pop culture references are the best


It’s easy to mistake pop culture references for actual humor. When it comes to Persona 5’s copious entertainment-themed goofs, they’re thankfully both. Players have picked up on a ton of callbacks to familiar shows, movies and songs in the week since it launched stateside, ranging from the obvious to the surprising.

We already pointed out Persona 5’s subtle reference to My Neighbor Totoro, but other anime get the hat-tip too.

The long-running JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a huge hit with manga and anime fans these days, with its new season leading the resurgence. There’s a fairly subtle reference to the show that wouldn’t strike anyone who’s never seen or read it as out of the ordinary.


— Stocking (@HaruStocking) March 31, 2017

“The World” comes straight from JoJo. The series’ third arc, which ran until 1992, featured an enemy who possessed a supernatural guardian figure by that name. It had the power to stop time — hence the reference here.

It’s also a little pointed, since the Persona series has weathered occasional complaints from JoJo fans for some of its similar themes. They both feature characters who evoke otherworldly monsters to fight for them, for instance … which is exactly the kind of thing this joke makes light of.

Woof, that’s an obscure one. Here’s one that’s a little more obvious:

Nice dragon ball reference in persona 5

— Susano'o Picaro (@JoeyTheKisaragi) April 11, 2017

Get it? Dragon ball? Kamehameha? That was an easy one, Atlus.

Moving into more Western territory, we like this Bon Jovi goof, even if we could go the rest of our lives without hearing “Dead or Alive” ever again:

Persona 5 made a Bon Jovi reference in 2017.

— Nora (@TheNorilla) April 11, 2017

We’re not quite as tired of this Pat Benatar song, referenced by a demon in-battle. We admit to judging the localization team for its obvious affinity for ’80s rock radio.

This is by far the best reference I've seen in persona 5 so far

— GH (@GHismyname) April 11, 2017

Persona 5 may not be available on a Nintendo platform, but its protagonists clearly own some of that company’s consoles. At least, we imagine that Super Bash Bros. would still be on a Nintendo system, like its inspiration:

dat Smash Bro reference

— Fieq@Persona 5 (@Tauhukah_anda) April 8, 2017

Now that Sega owns Atlus, a shout-out to Sonic the Hedgehog was inevitable:

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When we first saw this one in our own playthrough — we ran into it fairly early on — we were pretty stoked to see that Persona 5 wasn’t above making references to the series’ past entries. The woman on this poster looks exactly like Rise from Persona 4, right?

A few game days into Persona 5 , & I 'think' I have found my first Persona 4 reference! That sure looks like Rise!

— Veggie Gamer (@Veggie_Gamer) April 7, 2017

Little did we know that the game actually has goofs about seemingly everything. With the share button disabled, it can be hard to actually document the game’s jokes — but if you do, send them our way.

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