This article lists references to pop culture and different media that can be found in Life is Strange 2. Pop-cultural references are a significant part of Dontnod Entertainment's world-building. Like in the original Life is Strange, references and inspirations can be found in Life is Strange 2.
Road Stories Edit
According to Michel Koch, Life is Strange 2 was inspired by various media focusing around road trips and travelling, including:
Politics and Trump Presidency Edit
- Lyla writing the "Official Party List" on Sean's left hand may be a reference to Chloe Price writing her objectives on her left hand in Before the Storm.
- When Sean looks at his laptop, he will say, "I'm not a selfies kind of guy." This may be a reference to the beginning of the original Life is Strange where Max and Mark Jefferson talk about selfies.
- In the living room, a "PlayBox" can be found. The "PlayBox" console brand is a portmanteau of two real-world console brands, PlayStation and Xbox.
- When looking at the living room's television, Sean mentions binging Top Gear with his father and his brother.
- When looking at the headset next to the television, Sean says that Daniel plays Minecraft.
- In a letter addressed to Esteban from a neighbor, Scott Vaughn Foster, dated eight days before Esteban's tragic death, he was told that his property line overhangs their property and that his children are loud and don’t stay on their side. The letter also states that if Esteban doesn’t build a proper fence then he will be taken to small claims court for damages. This letter may be a real world reference to the campaign promise by US President Donald Trump to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.
- On Sean's computer, an active download for a movie called "Goodlands 1973" can be found, referencing the 1973 film Badlands.
- On her social media, Jenn posted, "Don't let them tame you", a quote by American dancer Isadora Duncan.
- When Daniel opens his room's door for Sean, Sean asks him, "What are you doing in there, Frankenstein?"
- The word "Hello!" is etched onto the white bookshelf in front of Daniel's door. This may be a reference to the psychological horror video game P.T., which includes a similar inscribing that becomes focal at one point during the game.
- If Sean takes some time to retrieve the right tool for Esteban in the Diaz Garage, the two begin to converse about the grade Sean received for an English essay he wrote on the 1969 anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five.
- Sean also keeps a customized cinema light box in his room displaying the message "So it goes", a famous quote from the novel. The phrase is meant to convey the lack of meaning in death during war and how it can come to anyone at any time, which may act as foreshadowing for Esteban's death in the following scene.
Into the Woods Edit
- Daniel says, "Awesome possum", a reference the same-titled Sega Megadrive game.
- Sean and Daniel come across a "creepy mushroom" that strongly resembles the fungus mutations of the Infected from the post-apocalyptic survival adventure game The Last of Us.
- Depending on what Sean responds to Daniel with upon entering the forest, the two brothers can make several references throughout their hike to either Minecraft or Lord of the Rings.
- If Sean chose to reference Minecraft:
- After Daniel mentions that he's afraid of the forest, Sean says that he's seen Daniel built giant cities out of wood in Minecraft, and Daniel becomes excited about being able to chop wood and build a secret base in the forest.
- While sitting on a bench overlooking the park, Sean asks Daniel if he's ready to build a base, to which Daniel responds that they should find some "cool blocks" and "be careful of Creepers".
- Upon finding and examining the landslide blocking off Trout Spring Trail, Daniel says that it must be the work of a Charged Creeper.
- After helping Daniel over the fallen tree, Daniel tells Sean that they have to look out for skeletons and zombies.
- When Sean tells Daniel that they could use the riverside cave as a "secret base", Daniel responds that they could "fight off any Skeletons or Creepers with some good traps".
- If Sean asks Daniel who he's up against as he's fencing a tree with a stick, Daniel tells him that a mob of Skeletons with flame arrows is attacking them.
- If Sean chose to reference Lord of the Rings:
- After Daniel mentions that he's afraid of the forest, Sean brings up watching Lord of the Rings with their father, Esteban, and compares their hike to an adventure. Daniel decides to liken himself to Frodo Baggins and Sean to Samwise Gamgee, to which Sean argues that he'd be more like Aragorn.
- While sitting on a bench overlooking the park, Sean asks Daniel if he's ready to build a base, to which Daniel responds "Frodo is always ready for adventure, Sean-Wise..."
- Upon finding and examining the landslide blocking off Trout Spring Trail, Daniel says that it must be the work of the Ents.
- After Sean helps him over the fallen tree, Daniel tells Sean "Come on Sean-Wise. We must explore!"
- When Sean tells Daniel that they could use the riverside cave as a "secret base", Daniel responds that they could "stop any orcs from capturing [them there]".
- If Sean asks Daniel who he's up against as he's fencing a tree with a stick, Daniel tells him that orcs and goblins have tracked them down. After "defeating" them, Daniel says "Ooof! They're down! None shall pass!", a reference to Gandalf's famous quote from the Lord of the Rings film: "You shall not pass!"
- As Daniel falls asleep by their campfire, Sean assures Daniel that "without [him], there's no Fellowship".
- If Sean chose to reference Minecraft:
- In the Picnic Area, there is a carving on the picnic table that reads, "Charles Emily Chris 2014." These are the names of the Eriksens in Captain Spirit.
- In the Picnic Area, a carving of the All-Seeing Eye, a symbol used by Chloe Price, can be seen on one of the tables.
- A poster outside the "Bear Station" gas station displaying a "ASH-82" chainsaw for sale references Ash Williams and his chainsaw hand from the classic 1981 horror movie The Evil Dead. The poster was posted by Sam R., a nod at director Sam Raimi.
- A girl sitting at the picnic table can be seen looking at her phone, which displays an interface that closely resembles Instagram's.
- When examining the freezer outside of the Mini Mart, Sean will say, "I don't even want to think about ice!" This may be a punny reference to ICE, the acronym for U.S._Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement, which is known for deporting undocumented Mexican immigrants.
- If Sean saves the bird trapped under a box, he will say, "Fly, be free!" This exact phrase is used by Max Caulfield and Chloe Price when they save birds in other Life is Strange games.
- The broken down car that Sean can discuss with Daniel appears exactly the same as one found in the Junkyard in both Life is Strange and Before the Storm.
- Sean will say the Stampers' house looks like the perfect setting for the Washington Chainsaw Massacre, a reference to the horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
- If Sean looked at and mentions the "creepy" wooden bears at Bear Station, Brody Holloway jokes that they could call it "The Bear Witch Project", a reference to the 1999 supernatural horror film The Blair Witch Project.
- If Sean asks Brody how he makes money, Brody tells him that he sells items on eBay.
- Before leaving, Brody tells the brothers that he can be contacted through his website, "A Tribe Called West", a reference to the American hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.
- Esteban references the Grand Theft Auto series in the old Christmas video that Sean watches on his phone.
- Daniel and Sean can dance to "Guitar Fighter," a reference to Guitar Hero.
- Two sketches on page 3 of Sean's journal depict a fox and a bear that might be a reference to the characters Gregg and Angus from the story-focused adventure game Night in the Woods developed by Infinite Fall.
- Page 5 of Sean's journal reads "OLLIE OLLIE OXEN FREE MOTHERFUCKERS", referencing Night School Studio's graphic adventure video game Oxenfree.
- Sean marks October 20, 2016 as "American Horror Debate 2016" on page 9 of his journal; a reference to American Horror Story.
- When Lyla is trying to tell Sean about something and he doesn't immediately reply on September 15, 2016, she says, "Do not ghost me" to which Sean responds with "Boo". Lyla then jokes, "Nice try but I'm a Ghostbuster", referencing the classic Ghostbusters movies.
- When Lyla calls Sean a "dick", he says, "That's what she said", an expression used in response to statements that may sound sexual in nature when taken out of context in the early 2010s. In response, Lyla remarks, "2010 called and wants its meme back."
- On September 20, 2016, Sean calls Lyla "Lyla Hawking" after she agreed to helping him with Statistics.
- Lyla mentions "ViewTube" in one of her messages to Sean, referencing YouTube.
- Lyla and Sean discuss the 2016 Presidential Election on October 19, 2016, the night of the final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.