Doom in popular culture


In addition to the officially licensed spin-offs, the popularity of Doom has resulted in a large number of homages in other media.

In art[edit]

  • Russian artist Aleksandr Gushchin created a Doom-themed street art display in St. Petersburg entitled "DOOM на Думской" (Doom on Dumskaya) in 2018 meant to raise awareness about the effects of alcohol. According to the artist, "a large number of entertainment venues in one place can sometimes open a portal to hell." The various murals depicted monsters from Doom, including the zombieman, imp, demon, cacodemon, lost soul, and baron of Hell, some of which were holding pints of beer.[1]

In games[edit]

Main article: Doom references in other games

In other software[edit]

Microsoft Excel 95[edit]

Hall of Tortured Souls

In Microsoft's Excel 95 spreadsheet program (included in the Microsoft Office 95 office suite), there is an Easter egg known as the Hall of Tortured Souls, a first-person, three dimensional raycasting game engine created as a homage to Doom.[1] The existence of this Easter egg is one of the results of the "religion" said to have arisen on the Microsoft campus in the wake of Doom's release.[2] Part of the Hall is blocked off by a wall, and the wall can be opened by typing "xlkfa", a reference to the "idkfa" cheat code. It features the names and pictures of the Microsoft development team.

The Easter egg sparked controversy in conservative Christian circles who misinterpreted it as a piece of hidden Satanic symbolism by way of a chain email which mentioned the minigame alongside a purported numerology calculation of the ASCII codes making up Bill Gates' name.[3]

In television[edit]

Stewie killing an imp
  • In an early episode of Friends, Chandler suggests playing Doom while using his laptop to help Ross decide between Julie or Rachel.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Homer is in a career consultant's office and the consultant is playing Doom.
  • In the TV Show Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike Nelson explains that in his job all he did was play Doom. In a commercial for the episode "The Starfighters", Crow and Mike are playing Doom as Tom Servo introduces the next episode. Moreover, during the episode "Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell," Mike remarks that a particularly empty gothic-looking scene "is like playing Doom with no monsters or opponents".
  • Code Monkeys is a show on G4 which takes place in a 1980's game company. In an episode of the show called "Wrassle Mania" John Romero goes on a thirty second pitch meeting with Larrity (the company's boss). As they walk through the hall Romero explains the plot of Doom and Larrity makes fun of it. The hall they walk through is a parody of the actual gameplay of Doom.
  • In the episode "Grave Sights" of Regular Show, a video game called Zombocalypse 3D has a Doom-style cover.
  • Doctor Who episodes "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit" have a Doom-like plot line, including the zombification of weak willed humans and aliens as soldiers for a greater evil as well as numerous references to Hell. It is also set on a space station conducting research of dubious ethics, the dangers of which are not fully understood, that releases a great evil from another dimension. The "Doom doors" sound effect can be clearly heard at one point as well.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 season 8 episode "Avatar," the virtual reality simulation is compared to Doom early in the episode.

In other fiction[edit]

Simpsons Comics homage to Doom called DUMB
  • Doom, as well as "Labyrinth of Death" ("Лабиринт Смерти"), a fictional virtual reality multiplayer game inspired by Doom ideas and images, is extensively featured in the "Labyrinth of Reflections" trilogy by Russian author Sergey Lukyanenko.
  • The film Naqoyqatsi includes a video clip from Doom (around the 1:11 mark).
  • In the film Wild Hogs, a police officer describes how he acquired his badge over the internet, noting that "for firearms training, they just told us to play Doom". After the large fight at the end of the film, he also says "wow, that was like, level twelve of Doom", presumably either referring to E2M3: Refinery, E2M4: Deimos Lab, or MAP12: The Factory.
  • In the 12th issue of Concerned, a webcomic made with the Half-Life 2 engine, G-Man briefly mentions the arch-vile to distract the main character, Gordon Frohman.
  • In the comic strip FoxTrot, a game called "Doomathon" (a portmanteau of Doom and Marathon) is mentioned on several occasions. The screen is never shown, but dialogue describes it as containing enemies such as "an ochre demon"[4] and "a cyber-ghoul"[5]. Jason also attempts to mod in a monster based on his sister Paige in one strip[6]. In later strips, the title "Duke Quakem" was used in a similar manner.
  • Homestar Runner makes occasional references to Doom. Two known examples both regard cacodemons. In Strong Bad email #150, alternate universe, Strong Bad states that an interdimensional portal that has opened in his room "looks like it could release some serious cacodemons." In the Jibblies 2 2007 Halloween special, Pom Pom wears a cacodemon Halloween costume. In the 2015 Strong Bad Classics! episode wherein he butchers the tale of The Ocelot and the Porridge Maiden, Strong Bad alters a page to read, "You must find a husband by sunrise, or Doom 2 badguys will come out of my ears!" The ocelot is then scribbled over so that it appears to have a mancubus, a Hell knight, and a lost soul coming out of its ears.
  • In the 2018 film Ready Player One, the climax of the story takes place on "Planet Doom," a battle planet where player-versus-player action is the norm. While nominally a reference to a location in the Voltron series, the deathmatch-like purpose of the location is also apparently a nod to the Doom series, as noted by screen writer and author of the original novel Ernest Cline in a video interview with Wired.[7]

In music[edit]

Dark Nebula
The song "My Domain" on the Dark Nebula album Dreamfuel features samples of various speeches from Doom.
Power metal band Epiclore has a song on its third album Grace Upon a Realm called "Knee-Deep In Doom", which is a medley of various Doom and Doom II songs and sound effects. The item respawn sound is sampled at half-speed, which is most likely due to the file having a higher bitrate than the rest of the sound effects in the game, and the program the band used did not compensate for this. The song can be downloaded freely off Epiclore's website.
Thrash metal band Hexen has a song called "Knee Deep In The Dead" on their 2008 album State of Insurgency, which basically tells the story of the first Doom game.
Lemon Demon
The song "Bad Idea" samples death sounds of zombies and demons, teleportation, the rocket launcher, and the super shotgun.
Lollipop Lust Kill
The band Lollipop Lust Kill wrote a song titled "Knee Deep in the Dead" paying homage to the game.
Manny Charlton
Manny Charlton, the guitarist of Nazareth, sent an untitled song on a cassette tape to id Software in 1995. John Romero would later call the song "Blood On the Walls" despite Doom being written all over the case. The liner said "For all the guys and gals at I.D. who came up with the coolest game this side of hell, kick some demon butt to this!!" and also said to "distribute as shareware".
MC Frontalot
In MC Frontalot's 2005 "Nerdcore Rising," rapper Jesse Dangerously says, "I made my own Doom .wads, dickwad. My own sprites and .mus files. I stayed home nights..."
MC Lars
Post-punk laptop rapper MC Lars mentions Doom in "O.G. Original Gamer," the tenth track of his 2009 album, This Gigantic Robot Kills. The official video for the song also includes a brief sequence of game play in which a zombieman is killed with the shotgun on E1M2: Nuclear Plant.
The song "Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?" (English: "Do you want to see the bed in flames?") by Rammstein samples the Doomguy's dying scream and shotgun reloading sounds.
Rotten Sound
Finnish grindcore band Rotten Sound's album Murderworks has a song called "Doom", which samples shotgun firing sounds as well as several imp and zombie sounds.
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins credit id Software for the Doom explosion sound effect which is used as a sample on the song "Where Boys Fear to Tread" off the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. This sound effect points to the relationship between Doom and The Smashing Pumpkins in the SPISPOPD joke.
Unter Null
The Unter Null song "Bloodlust", first track on the album The Failure Epiphany, uses a sample of DSBOSSIT from 1:24 to 1:29.
Thrash metal band Warbringer has a song called "Hell On Earth" on their 2008 album War Without An End which makes explicit references to Doom, including use of the phrases "knee deep in the dead," "barons of hell," and describes fighting with zombified humans and demons inside mazes with shotguns.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]



  1. Channel Five staff (2 December 2018). "Петербургский художник показал «портал в ад» на Думской." Channel Five. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  2. Kushner, David. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. Random House Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0-375-50524-5
  3. Boswell, Russ (24 July 2017). "15 Gaming Urban Legends That Will Keep You Up At Night." TheGamer. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  4. Amend, Bill. "FoxTrot." Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  5. Amend, Bill. "FoxTrot." Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  6. Amend, Bill. "FoxTrot." Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  7. Cline, Ernest (30 March 2018). "Every Video Game in 'Ready Player One' Explained By Author Ernest Cline." YouTube. Retrieved 12 April 2018.