This is a list of all cultural references found in the 2007 video game No More Heroes.
- Jeane references the manga Miyuki while fast-forwarding her side of her story.
- The Lovikov Balls are a reference to the Dragon Balls from the anime and manga series of the same name. The manual refers to them as being part of a wish-granting dragon - another reference to the Dragon Ball series.
- The Schpeltiger resembles the Kaneda's motorcycle from "Akira."
- An assassination gig in the game directs Travis Touchdown to kill the CEO of a fast food restaurant chain looking to open in Santa Destroy called "Pizza Butt," a reference to Pizza Hut.
- Death Metal's saber, the Orange II, has a symbol which parodies Apple Inc.'s logo as it was designed by the fictitious Orange Computers, also a parody of Apple Inc.
- The Grasshopper Manufacture logo can be found in several parts of Santa Destroy, namely on the sides of newspaper dispensers and on the WGHM 86.6 FM billboard (a radio station which itself references Grasshopper's three-letter abbreviation, GHM).
- Art and writing on the unlock-able Fudo t-shirt references the cult martial arts documentary BUDO: The Art of Killing.
- Dr. Peace's weapon, a golden revolver, is a possible homage to Emir Parkreiner of killer7's golden gun. Goichi Suda also featured the golden gun in killer7 as a reference to the same weapon publicized in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, and its novel.
- Dr. Peace bares a strong resemblance to American actor Charles Bronson, famous for his movie roles which include a police detective, gunfighter and hitman, all three of which apply to Peace.
- Jeane's history of sexual abuse and seeking prostitution as a means of paying for her training in the ways of an assassin are homages to the 1974 cult film Thriller: A Cruel Picture.
- Santa Destroy's baseball team, the Santa Destroy Warriors, is named after the film of the same name. However, their appearance are similar to the film's fictional gang, the Baseball Furies, sans the corpse paint.
- The entrance to the Townsend Residence where Travis confronts Death Metal bares a strong resemblance to Tony Montana's mansion in the 1983 film Scarface.
- The game makes several references to Star Wars. Examples include the beam katana, the death of the protagonist's mentor before his eyes (Thunder Ryu), a character "revealing" himself to be the protagonist's father (Dark Star), masked bikers who bear a resemblance to Darth Vader, and credits of the game's first and untrue ending parodying those of Star Wars (featuring a song entitled "Staff Wars EPISODE I"). Another possible reference to the film series is when Silvia Christel calls Travis' cell phone before ranking matches, telling him to "trust [his] Force," likely a reference to the power of the same name used in Star Wars by the Jedi and Sith. Travis' special attacks are performed in "Dark Side Mode", a reference to Star Wars' "dark side of the Force." Masked bikers in the game who resemble Darth Vader pilot T.I.E Rider motorcycles, a reference to Darth Vader's T.I.E Fighter vessel. Travis' bike happens to resemble an X-wing fighter. There is also a poster in Travis' room and at Beef Head that resembles the poster for Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith.
- The title for one of the mature videos Travis is prompted to return to Beef Head, Coffee and MILF, may be based on the pornographic film series Honey and MILF.
- The "To Be Continued" logo at the end of the game's credits is a reference to the Back to the Future film series.
- When Travis' closet is opened at the Motel "NO MORE HEROES", a white button-up shirt with what appears to be red ink on the breast pocket can be briefly seen. This is may be a reference to a recurring joke in the 2004 film Shaun of the Dead.
- Area 51 is a reference to the nickname for a military base located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States.
- Despite taking place in California, all of vehicles in the game feature New Jersey license plates.
- The game makes frequent wrestling references to the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta. Calgary was formerly the home of one of the toughest wrestling training facilities, the Hart House.
- Destroy Stadium bears some resemblance to Yankee Stadium. Yankee Stadium's famous "facade" is seen on the outfield walls.
- The trains and subway stations in No More Heroes look very simlar to the ones found in New York City's MTA Subway division. The trains resemble R32 subway cars but they also have there own mix on it as the electronic signs on the trains resemble the ones found on R142 models.
- Helter-Skelter was named after the book by Vincent Bugliosi or the Beatles song of the same name.
- Talbot and Weller's names may be homages to Mick Talbot and Paul Weller of the British pop band The Style Council.
- The building across the street from Beef Head has a large poster displaying "No me toques lo cojones-Grasshopper". The design of this poster is a parody of the Sex Pistols' debut album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. In addition, near the a cosmetics store in western Santa Destroy is called Never Mind the Botox. This is also a parody of the Sex Pistols' debut.
- The Dark Side Mode attack Anarchy in the Galaxy may be a reference to the Sex Pistols song "Anarchy in the U.K.".
- The game shares its title with that of an album by The Stranglers. A poster stating "Whatever happened to the heroes?" appears around Santa Destroy, which is a lyric from the song No More Heroes.
- The name for Shinobu's katana, the Three Girl Rhumba's Sword, is a reference to the Wire song "Three Girl Rhumba".
- The "Miami Bass" shirt in Area 51 is a reference to Miami-based rap group, the 2 Live Crew.
- The theme song in the Thunder Ryu gym sounds very similar to "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor and "Master of Puppets" by Metallica. Plus the No More Heroes theme song is also mixed in.
- Dr. Peace's name is a bit of a play on words, the homonym "piece" being a common slang term for a handgun. Additionally, Peace's revolver is rather similar to the Colt 1873 "Peacemaker" pistol.
- It is hinted by his dialogue that Thunder Ryu has had sex with Travis on some occasions, referencing the ancient practice of pederasty in some Japanese samurai castes.
- The design of Thunder Ryu's beam katana, the D.O.S., bares a resemblance to a shirasaya, a plain Japanese blade mount.
- Moai statues can be found throughout Santa Destroy. Inside the subway system, advertisements describing Moai Financial can be seen.
- The game makes frequent references to tigers, including trading cards in the Mask of the Legendary Wrestler set, the tiger seen in the upper-right corner of the screen, and Silvia's tiger-related remarks such as, "Go get 'em tiger," and "Eye of the tiger." This is due to Travis' Japanese name (Torabisu) roughly translating to "tiger." "Go get 'em Tiger" may also be a references to a quote of Mary Jane Watson from the Spider-Man comics.
- The game frequently breaks the fourth wall. In the opening sequence, Travis references the average gamer's lack of patience, and then says, "for you, there, holding the Wii Remote like that? Just press the A button." In one of the final scenes of the game, Jeane says, in reference to her dark back story, "it alone would jack up the age rating of this game even further," as well as, "What if the game gets delayed?" The reference to age rating is analogous to Suda's claims of making No More Heroes more violent than Manhunt 2, a game which was originally rated Adults Only by the ESRB. In the game's "real" ending, Henry also expresses that he "would've thought [Travis] and the player would have figured it out by now," in reference to the truth that he is Travis' twin brother.
- The name for the King Tut shop in Santa Destroy is a reference to Tutankhamun, an Egyptian Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty, during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom.
- The name for the Pirates & Ninjas shop in Santa Destroy is a reference to an internet meme that circulates in the form of an ongoing debate that asks the question "Who would win in a fight: pirates or ninjas?"
- Travis can be seen in an early cutscene placing his hands on a Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly poster, uttering the words "MOE~" (pronounced "mo-eh"), a slang term frequently used by Otaku's, like Travis himself. It is a Japanese slang word referring to fetish for or love for characters in video games or anime and manga.
- Destroyman's alter ego, John Harnet, bares a strong resemblance to American heavyweight mixed martial arts fighter, Josh Barnett. This influence is addressed in a GameTrailers video interview with Suda51.
- Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii bares a resemblance to real-life magician Criss Angel.
- Silvia Christel's name is an allusion to European actress Sylvia Kristel.
- The crotch grab Letz Shake performs is reminiscent of the dance move performed by American musician and entertainer Michael Jackson.
- The name for the Egbert theatre in Santa Destroy is a reference to American film critic and screenwriter Roger Ebert.
- Travis bares a strong resemblance to former Jackass star, Johnny Knoxville. This influence is addressed in a GameTrailers video interview.
- Each region, and several businesses and streets of Santa Destroy are named after a wrestling move, such as Body Slam Beach, Piledriver Realty, Rounding Body Press Station, Suplex Pizza, Tag Team Taco Twins and Avalanche Hold Street. More precisely, there are a number of references to lucha libre wrestling, such as the Luchaco gas station in Santa Destroy and the Mask of the Legendary Wrestler set of cards which each represent various masks of popular, "legendary" lucha libre wrestlers.
- At various points throughout the game, usually following the death of the main character, Travis, a "Zaka TV" screen is displayed. Zaka TV is a news station featured in two other Suda51 titles Michigan: Report from Hell and killer7.
- Before telling her story, Jeane quips, "You don't want this to be No More Heroes Forever, do you?" This is a reference to Duke Nukem Forever, a game infamous for its protracted development schedule.
- Behind Travis' armchair is a shelf containing many collectible items, among them a Nintendo 64. Also, the cartridge of the Pure White Giant Glastonbury game playable on Travis' television after defeating Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii resembles that of a Nintendo 64 cartridge.
- Cat Jeane may be a reference to the stray cat Ryo Hazuki cares for in the Dreamcast game Shenmue.
- Destroyman's "Destroy Cannon" move is based on the "Hadouken" move of Street Fighter.
- The game makes several references to Suda51's previous production, killer7. Examples include Bad Girl's fridge in the Destroy Stadium basement containing a label reading Chiller7, "Bad Girl" being a slogan seen on one of Travis Bell's muscle shirts, techniques taught to Travis by Randall Lovikov being named after the likenesses of the Smith syndicate, and Ermen Palmer, an assassin who breaks into Travis' motel room, attempting to kill him while he is defenseless on the toilet in both of the game's endings, being a homage to Emir Parkreiner. Also, lucha libre masks Travis encounters before each ranking match contain letters signed M.S., which may refer to Mask de Smith, an assassin and luche libre wrestler in killer7. Another possible reference to the game are the splash screens that load when the player reaches the location of a ranking match, which show a black silhouette of the mission's target, synonymous of the level select menu of killer7.
- The game's pause menu graphically resembles that of a second generation video game console. The Pure White Giant Glastonbury game playable on Travis' television assumes the appearance of a second generation shoot 'em up as well.
- The visor Letz Shake dons during the set-up phase of Doctor Shake resembles that of Nintendo's Virtual Boy. His gloves also resemble Power Glove controllers, while Doctor Shake contains engines that refer to the PlayStation 3's cell microprocessor and the Xbox 360's Trinity engine.
- There are a number of references to Fire Pro Wrestling, a game series Suda was previously involved with directing. The Japanese version of the game's instruction manual comic references Super Fire Pro Wrestling Lucha Libres. Suda previously worked on two titles from the Fire Pro Wrestling series, though the Lucha Libres installment referenced is apparently fictional. Keita Sakai wears a GONGS t-shirt, which is yet another reference to Fire Pro Wrestling. GONGS was the name given to the in-game wrestling federation based on the real-life federation RINGS. The "Mask De Panther" mentioned in the descriptions of the first and third videos available at Beef Head references the name given to Tiger Mask, the main character of select installments of the Fire Pro Wrestling series, when published in the United States, so as to avoid legal trouble. In turn, the Tiger Mask character of Fire Pro Wrestling is a reference to the real life professional wrestling persona based on the 1968 manga Tiger Mask. Finally, Travis' mentor, Thunder Ryu, is a character from the Fire Pro Wrestling series, one that Suda has worked on in the past. Thunder Ryu's Fire Pro Wrestling incarnation was based on the real-life wrestler Genichiro Tenryu.
- Three trading cards in the game are of professional wrestlers "The Flower," The Sun," and "The Rain." Also, a Japanese two-page print advertisement for the game features Silvia Christel sunbathing in without a bikini top, sporting the letters "F.S.R." These are obvious references to Flower, Sun, and Rain, one of Suda's previous productions.
- The name for Thunder Ryu's beam katana, the primitive D.O.S., is a reference to the family of operating systems for IBM compatible PCs marketed between 1981 and 1995.
- In the Gym, you can do squats on a wrestling ring, possibly a reference to beating the ringleader at a squat competition in Final Fantasy VII, to gain a wig to disguise yourself to rescue Tifa from Don Corneo.