9 Scott Pilgrim References That You\’ve Probably Come Across


The appeal behind the Scott Pilgrim comic and film adaptation owes a great amount to its homage to video games. There’s something about seeing a reference that only the gaming culture would get that tickles our souls. In celebration of Pilgrim’s big screen debut, we list off some of the references to other works in both the comic and movie. As always, if there’s any that we missed, feel more than free to point it out to us in the comments section.

Super Mario

The most apparent reference to the video game that started all video games takes shape in the name of Scott’s band. Bob-omb’s were enemies that would detonate over an extended period of time. Like Super Mario, Scott always has an extra life handy.

The Legend of Zelda

The opening theme chimes in briefly at the beginning of the movie and you can hear Young Neil playing the game frequently from his Nintendo DS.


Fighting game references abound during the battles between Scott and Romona’s League of Evil Exes. The powers Scott and his opponents exhibit are very much reminiscent of some of the hypercombos from Capcom’s “versus” series. Let’s not forget the “air rave,” “combo,” and “reversal” bonuses attributed to Scott’s attacks are featured in most of Capcom’s games.

Final Fantasy

In a scene omitted from the movie, Scott Pilgrim sees a “save point” in the corner before encountering Envy. In addition to that, when Scott Pilgrim suddenly gains the power of love and self-confidence, he brandishes a sword which boosts his stats like most of Square-Enix’s heroes.. Further more, the trope of Ramona’s exes exploding into a shower of money is ripped straight from role-playing-games in general. Remember when monsters would nonsensically carry cash on their person after their demise?


Not emphasized in the movie, Scott’s patch on his right shoulder is an “X” from Xavier’s School for the Gifted, better known as the institution housing the X-Men. Julie Powers also bears the same respective name as an obscure Marvel character.


Brian O’Malley’s art style is completely reminiscent of anime and manga. Take into account the color of Ramona’s hair, the characters’ concealment of impractically large weapons, and their impossible feats and suddenly it looks more and more like something from a Japanese saturday morning cartoon.


We all hate them. O’Malley seems to love them. Parts of Canada like Vancouver are pretentious abodes of this reviled subculture for the new decade. It’s difficult to tell if Toronto is any exception, but hipster ideals are still present in the graphic novel.  Todd Ingram develops super powers from his vegan lifestyle to which Envy not at all arrogantly explains that “they’re just better than everyone else.” Wallace is introduced as Scott’s “Cool Gay Roommate” echoing the hipster obsession with showing off as many diversified friends as possible. Finally, Knives self-consciously refers to Ramona as a “fat hipster chick.” Oh, and one more thing. Why is it that every indie body of work must feature characters so music obsessed?


Several of the places in the graphic novels are actual locations in Canada. Many include, but are not restricted to The Toronto Public Library, The Rockit, Pacific Mall, Sonic Boom, No Account Video, Casa Loma, Toronto Reference Library, Lee’s Place, Honest Ed’s, Yonge-Dundas Square, The Beaches, Dufferin Mall, Sneaky Dee’s, Nipissing University, Queen Street West, Toronto Coach Terminal, St. Christopher House, and The Cameron House.

Gothic Lolita

A Gothic subculture, this fashion originates from Japan’s street scene. Kim Pine wears an outfit in an earlier book for the comic and in the movie’s penultimate battle.