Easter eggs

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This article is timeless and should be accurate for any version of the game.
You are a player, are you not? - Enigmatic Observers

Easter eggs are inside jokes and references to popular culture, included for the player's amusement. This is a non-exhaustive list of Easter eggs present in Stellaris.

Sol system[edit]

If the player does not select Sol as their starting system it can potentially be discovered in one of the following states;

Late Medieval Age
Humans are xenophobe, spiritualist and authoritarian and have primitive armies made up of feudal levies.
Machine Age
Humans are materialist and fanatic militarist, and have the industrial armies of Nazi Germany, USSR, the US, UK and Imperial Japan, suggesting that WW2 is imminent or ongoing. If achievements are enabled, then successfully invading at this time will unlock the Outside Context achievement (see Achievements heading).
Present Day
Humans are xenophile and fanatic egalitarian, and have the post-atomic armies of the US, China, Russia and the European Union. They are considered a Pre-FTL species and ISS II orbits Earth. If they discover FTL tech before nuking themselves, they will become the United Nations of Earth.
Nuclear Wasteland
Humanity has wiped itself out in a nuclear war and Earth is a tomb world. The planet is inhabited by pre-sentient cockroaches. At least they make a good species for uplifting experiments.

Ringworld Homage[edit]

The Sanctuary system, containing a ringworld populated by primitive species that was designed by a precursor empire to house and preserve primitive life, is a homage to Larry Niven's Ringworld, the novel which is the origin of ringworlds concept in fiction.

Civics[edit]

Civic citizen service.png Citizen Service

Reference to Starship Troopers.

Civic imperial cult.png Imperial Cult

Reference to Warhammer 40k

Civic devouring swarm.png Devouring Swarm

Reference to Starcraft's Zerg and the Tyranids from Warhammer 40k

Armies[edit]

Army clone.png Clone armies

Reference to the Star Wars prequel trilogy

Army xenomorph.png Xenomorph armies

Reference to the Alien franchise, Starcraft's Zerg, or Warhammer 40,000's Tyranids

Army gene warrior.png Gene warrior armies

Reference to the Space Marines from Warhammer 40k

Attachment genetic.png Clone commandos attachment

Reference to Star Wars: Republic Commando

Attachment slaves.png Commissar squads attachment

Reference to the commissars from Warhammer 40k

Buildings[edit]

Ministry of Benevolence
Reference to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four
Psi Corps
Reference to Babylon 5
Tomb World Vaults
Reference to the Fallout vaults. Or possibly Necron Tomb Worlds in Warhammer 40,000 supported by anomalies on said worlds usually dating to precursor races 60 million years ago. Also possibly a reference to the Time Vaults of Hyperion.

Traits[edit]

Trait primitive.png Proles

Reference to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nerve Stapled.png Nerve Stapled

Reference to Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, where nerve stapling is considered an atrocity.

Leader trait scroll.png Towel-bearer

Reference to the first rule of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Ship names[edit]

The standard human namelist used by the United Nations of Earth is loaded with references; for instance, all Destroyers are named after cities, whilst Cruisers are named after battles (Somme, Hastings, Bunker Hill) and military commanders/leaders (Julius Caesar, De Gaulle, Genghis Khan), construction ships are named for oceans and rivers (Pacific, Atlantic, Volga, Ganges, Rhine), science ships are named for explorers and scientists (Grissom, Gagarin, Asimov, Hawking), and so on.

Enterprise (battleship)
Reference to Star Trek.
Firefly (corvette)
Reference to Firefly, the main ship's class.
Greased Lightning (corvette)
Reference to the cult movie Grease.
Serenity (colonizer)
Reference to Firefly, the main ship's name.
Thunder Child (destroyer)
Reference to War of the Worlds.
Yeager
Reference to Chuck Yeager, the first person to travel past the speed of sound

Pirate ship names[edit]

Aside from pop culture references, many pirate ship names are reminiscent of the naming conventions of Culture starships, from Iain M. Banks' fictional setting.

The Slings, The Arrows, and Outrageous Fortune
Reference to Hamlet
Black Earl
Reference to the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Attack on freighter
Reference to Attack on Titan
Tycho, Durandal, Leela
Reference to Marathon, the eponymous colony ship's three shipboard AIs.
Oh, That's a Pirate!
Reference to a video game in Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
Soylent Green
Reference to the movie Soylent Green.
Resonance Cascade
Reference to Half Life.
Hell's Bells
Reference to the Hells Bells song by AC/DC.
Pillage and Reconciliation
Reference to the ship "Truth and Reconciliation" from the popular video game Halo: Combat Evolved
Comet Sighted!
Reference to the "Comet Sighted" event.

System names[edit]

Real[edit]

There are almost 200 real star names provided in Stellaris as potential random names for solar systems. Here are a few of the more notable ones;
Algol system
Perhaps better known as Beta Persei. Also features in the Phantasy Star series.
Alpha Centauri system
Our closest neighbor; always spawns near Sol. Featured in a great many books, movies and games.
Antares system
One of the real star names present in the game. Reference to the Antares system from which the Antarans launch their attacks in Master of Orion 2: Battle at Antares
Betelgeuse System
A real system, and the home system of Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Epsilon Eridani
A real system approximately 10ly away, and in the Halo series, a Human stronghold system - home to the fortress world Reach.
Gamma Draconis system
Also known as Eltanin, and features heavily in Freespace 2, as the discovery of an ancient jumpnode-stabilizing 'Knossos' device leads to a second war with the omnicidal, star-destroying Shivans.
Omicron Persei
Though it is a real star system it is likely also a reference to "Futurama" where the overlord Lrrr of the Omicronians lives on Omicron Persei VIII. If the system is big enough in Stellaris, there might just be an Omicron Persei VIII.
Rasalhague
Also known as Alpha Ophiuchi, part of a binary system. Features in the Battletech setting.
Rukbat
Also known as Alpha Sagittarii, setting of The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCafferey
Sheliak system
Also known as Beta Lyrae, and a reference to a species of the same name in the Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Tau Ceti
A real star system and one of the closest to Sol in reality. Referenced in numerous books and shows, the most well known likely Star Trek. Also the destination of the starship Von Braun in the video game System Shock 2.
Trappist system
A custom predesigned unique system, resembling the TRAPPIST-1 solar system, which was discovered to have three exoplanets in 2015. In 2017, it was announced that four more exoplanets had been detected. The Trappist system always has an m-class star, a molten world, a barren world, a toxic world, a desert world, a continental world, an arctic world, and a frozen world, in that order.

Fictional[edit]

There are another almost 1,200 fictional star names, many are completely fictional and unique to Stellaris, whilst others are pop-culture references or nods to the development team/community.
Amlitzer system
Reference to the battle in the Amlitzer system in the Legends of the Galactic Heroes
Arrakis system
Reference to the arid planet in Dune's saga
Astarte system
Reference to the battle in the Astarte system in the Legends of the Galactic Heroes.
Blorg's Bane
Potential black hole name. Reference to the Blorg, the species played in the pre-release Stellaris stream
Belgium System
Reference to a running joke of fans of strategy Youtuber Quill18, or possibly The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Cknoor system
Reference to the nickname of Anders "cKnoor" Carlsson, Streaming Producer at Paradox.
Giedi system
Reference to the homeworld of House Harkonnen in Dune's saga.
Heaven's Gate
Reference to Heaven's Gate, an American UFO religious millenarian group.
Higashik-Ata
Reference to Part 4 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Diamond is Unbreakable; protagonist's last name.
Jabba system
Reference to Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars.
Kazon system
Possible reference to the Kazon tribes, an aggressive and sectarian species from Star Trek Voyager.
Kazoo system
Reference to the kazoo of cKnoor, as seen in the pre-release stream.
Kuma system
Reference to the nickname of Björn "Kuma-kun" Iversen, Audio Director at Paradox.
Lando system
Reference to "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" (although Lando's not a system, he's a man).
Mar-Adetta system
Reference to the Battle of Marr-Adetta in "Legend of the Galactic Heroes".
Manward system
Reference to the Game Director of Stellaris, Martin Anward.
Olimar system
Reference to the protagonist of Pikmin.
Polgara system
Reference to the sorceress Polgara of the Belgariad series.
Rantemario system
Another reference to a star system in the Legends of the Galactic Heroes.
Tantanga system
Reference to the alien invader from Super Mario Land.
Targon system
Reference to Mount Targon from the League of Legends lore.
Ulm System
Reference to a small German one province minor in the Europa Universalis series, another grand strategy by Paradox.
Vermillion system
Another reference to a star system in the Legends of the Galactic Heroes.
Yildun system
Reference to the headquarters of Technodyne Industries of Yildun in the Honor Harrington novels.
Yump system
A reference/joke at the expense of Anders "cKnoor" Carlsson, Streaming Producer, for his repeated (mis)pronunciation of 'jump' as 'yump' (in relation to FTL travel) during prerelease livestreams. In the random name list (/common/random_names/base/00_random_names.txt), it appears directly below 'Kazoo' and 'cKnoor'

Planet names[edit]

Dune (desert world)
Another name for Arrakis from Frank Herbert's Dune saga.
Kipling (jungle world)
Reference to Rudyard Kipling, an author famous for The Jungle Book.
R'lyeh (ocean world)
Reference to the sunken city from the Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft.
Dagon (ocean world)
Reference to the ocean-dwelling deity from a short story by H.P. Lovecraft.
Walled Garden (gaia world)
Translation of Rannoch, the Quarian homeworld's name from Khelish, their language, in Mass Effect.
Melpomenia
Reference to one of the Spatian's worlds in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Cycle.
Solaria
Reference to Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.

Asteroids[edit]

1337- prefix
An asteroid may get the random name 1337, which means "Leet" in leetspeak.
AT-, R2-, C- prefixes, and -AT, -ST, -D2, -3PO suffixes
All references to Star Wars.
THX- prefix and -1138 suffix
Reference to George Lucas' first movie, THX-1138. This name would appear several times in other movies made by Lucas, usually in the background or as subtle references in dialogue.
HAL- prefix and -9000 suffix
Reference to HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey"
TLDR- prefix
Relatively common internet slang; stands for "Too Long, Didn't Read".
UL1M- prefix
Might be a reference to the EU4 state of Ulm.
OD1N- prefix
Odin, of Norse Mythology.
VIR- prefix
Likely a nod to the tutorial AI, VIR, and possibly Vir Cotto of Babylon 5.
WPR- prefix
Possible reference to WOPR, the military supercomputer antagonist of the 1983 film WarGames.

Achievements[edit]

Clever girl
For uplifting a pre-sentient species: a reference to a famous line in Jurassic Park.
Deus Vult
For having Holy Worlds: A reference to Crusader Kings II, art a reference of Cylon Raiders from Battlestar Galactica.
Domo Arigato
For having a robot Pop: Reference to the 80's song Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto.
Power Overwhelming
For having 5000 Energy Credits: it's the famous power cheat code from StarCraft.
Faster, Stronger, Better
For "Genetic Tailoring" technology: Reference to Daft Punk's song Harder, Better, Faster Stronger and Interstella 5555 - this song was played while they genetically tailored the main characters.
May also refer to the robot taunt from Unreal Tournament 2004 Faster, Stronger, Better - though that could be also an easter egg to the song.
Voight-Kampff
For detecting synthetic infiltrators: The original Voight-Kampff machine is from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and was made to detect runaway androids.
Break on Through
For one rare technology: Possible reference on The Door's song Break On Through (To the Other Side)
...To the other side
For 15 rare technologies: Possible reference on The Door's song Break On Through (To the Other Side)
Building Better Worlds
For terraforming a planet: Reference to the Weyland Yutani company motto from Aliens which specialized in terraforming and space exploration.
Last, Best Hope
Lead the non-aligned powers to victory against an awakened empire: Reference to the opening of Babylon 5, where it was repeatedly said that the station was the last, best hope for peace, and formed a league of worlds against the fallen empires of Vorlons and Shadows. Possibly also a reference to "Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country," in which a character describes the leader of a foreign power, who had been assassinated on the eve of a major peace accord, as "the last, best hope for peace in the universe."
Suffer not the Alien
For purging all other sentient species in the galaxy: Reference to the motto of Deathwatch who excels in fighting xeno threat for Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40,000 "Suffer Not The Alien to Live".
Payback
For infiltrating the homeworld of pre-FTL reptilians as a humanoid species: Reference to the famous conspiracy theory of Earth being infiltrated by reptilians.
The achievement picture is an inverted version of the poster from TV-series "V", in which a reptilian species invades earth.
Then Virgil, Now Beatrice
For returning a long-dead species to life: Reference to Dante's Divine Comedy.
Battle Thralls
For having three vassals: Reference to the Ur-Quan Masters from Star Control.
Outside Context
Reference to the Iain M. Banks book Excession. The author coined the term "Outside Context Problem" to indicate a surprising and unexpected situation, such as an invasion by massively superior alien force occuring in the middle of World War 2. The Unbidden and Prethoryn Swarm are also perfect examples of Outside Context Problems.

Random events[edit]

Comet sighted
A running joke in Paradox' own 'grand strategy' games; outcomes range from positive to negative depending on the game in question.
Anti-Alien Task Force
Reference to the XCOM and UFO series
Rogue Agent
Reference to James Cameron's Avatar
The Tree
Reference to the iconic scene from The Fountain
A Species of Ice and Ice
Reference to A Song of Ice and Fire
Improbable Ceramics
Reference to Russell's teapot, a philosophical analogy about the burden of proof.
Glancing Hit
Reference to Mass Effect 2 dialogue about Sir Isaac Newton and the dangers of kinetic weapons.
Nimkip
Reference to Pikmin, a video game developed by Nintendo.
Stay Calm
Reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Messages[edit]

"The galaxy is dark and full of terrors"
Reference to the famous line from "Game of Thrones".
"Alert all commands. Deploy the fleet."
Reference to Star Wars Episode V.
"The spice must flow."
Reference to Dune.
"We are the [Hive Mind AI empire]. Lower your shields and surrender your ships."
Reference to the Borg from Star Trek.
"We will add the biological and technological distinctiveness of our vassals to our own. Their cultures will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile"
Reference to the Borg from Star Trek.
"The [Evangelizing Zealots ruler] Protects."
Reference to Warhammer 40k.
"I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."
Reference to Agent Smith from The Matrix
"Giants in the playground..."
Reference to Babylon 5.
"Well secluded, I see all."
Reference to The Rocky Horror Picture Show
"You may be wondering about the meaning of the mural behind us. That's a very good question with a very interesting answer! The price for the answer is 15 quadrillion Credits."
Reference to Star Control
"This war will bring about an era of peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms."
Reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
"Please notice me senpai."
Reference to Japanese anime
"Soon, communications from all your vessels will be blocked. None of you are free of sin."
Reference to the Weird Twitter account @dril.
"Some species are more equal than others."
Reference to George Orwell's Animal Farm.
"Livestock is Pops!"
Reference to the "Soylent Green" line "Soylent Green is people!"

Enigmatic Observers[edit]

The Enigmatic Observers have a tendency to lean against the fourth wall in their dialogue.

"All the world's a stage, and all the species are merely players. You are a player, are you not?"
neutral greeting and a reference to William Shakespeare
"Don't break the fourth wall, you clever child you."
neutral greeting
"You have ceased to amuse. Your little game will soon be over."
war greeting, ironically they cannot give an empire game over unless awakened

Species[edit]

Second and fifth humanoid species
Reference to the Klingons and the Vulcans from Star Trek
Fourth humanoid species
Reference to the alien character Diva Plavalaguna from the film The Fifth Element
Fifth Molluscoid species
Reference to the Yahg from Mass Effect
Fox mammalian species
Reference to the Kzinti from Larry Niven's Known Space
Creatures of the Void arthropoid species
Reference to the Shadows from Babylon 5
Fifth avian species
Reference to the Psycrows from Earthworm Jim
The Prethoryn Scourge
Reference to the Tyranids from Warhammer 40k
The Unbidden
Reference to the Chaos Daemons from Warhammer 40k
Admiral Chirpy (16th avian species)
Reference to the advisor of Cities:Skylines
Neo-Chimp (obtained via Syncretic Evolution if you start on Earth)
Reference to Uplift Universe
Droid (the second tier of robot)
Reference to Star Wars, in which all robots are referred to by this term (a contraction of "android")

The Shroud[edit]

The shroud is modeled after the Warp from Warhammer 40k and the Shroud entry dialogue contains plenty of references to various franchises.

Patron Entities[edit]

Composer of Strands
Inspired by the Chaos god Nurgle
Eater of Worlds
Inspired by the Chaos God Khorne
Instrument of Desire
Inspired by the Chaos God Slaanesh
Whispers in the Void
Inspired by the Chaos god Tzeentch

Entry Lines[edit]

"Do you think that is air you're breathing now?"
Reference to The Matrix.
"They should have sent a poet..."
Reference to the movie Contact
"Do you hear the voices too?"
Reference to the Chaos from Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War.
"Horror...horror has a face."
Quote from Apocalypse Now.
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us?"
From the Orange Catholic Bible, also used in Dune.

Other[edit]

To Boldly Go (Discovery tradition)
Reference to Star Trek
Standard Construction Templates (Prosperity tradition)
Possible reference to 'Standard Template Construct' from Warhammer 40k, given description.
Skull and cross human flag
Reference to Black Templars from Warhammer 40k
Crystalline Entities are Unbreakable (special project/event)
Reference to Part 4 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga, Diamond is Unbreakable.
Despicable Neutrals (placeholder personality)
Reference to the people of the Neutral Planet in Futurama.
Chinorr Stellar Union (Preset Empire)
A reference, albeit misspelled, to Paradox Studio's stream producer
Mario and Luigi (the first two names in the Italian section of Human.txt)
Reference to the main protagonists of Nintendo's flagship franchise
VIR (tutorial advisor)
Click the portrait repeatedly for some funny comments; also a reference to classic Warcraft/Blizzard games where units would have silly and often fourth-wall-breaking responses if clicked on multiple times in rapid succession. VIR's name is possibly a reference to Vir Cotto from Babylon 5.
Subdermal Stimulation Tech
The description for Subdermal Stimulation Tech's research card, "Where we're going, we won't need skin to feel," is a reference to the sci-fi horror film 'Event Horizon.' In a memorable scene from the Event Horizon film, one of the main characters is discovered to have gouged his own eyes out after being driven insane by cosmic influences, declaring "Where we're going, we won't need eyes to see."
Synth (the third tier of Robot)
The term "Synth" is used across many franchises - namely Fallout, Alien and Half Life 2 - to describe robots that closely resemble a living counterpart in appearance and behaviour. In Fallout, the most advanced and human-like robots are referred to by this term in Fallout (a contraction of "synthetic person"). In Half Life 2, the Combine's cyborgs are referred to as synths by fans (Although no one is heard saying the word "synth" and they are called by their given names; i.e. Strider, Gunship), in Ridley Scott's Alien franchise, 'synth' is a nickname sometimes given to androids.
Blorg Commonality
A pre-made playable empire that may appear in new games. Based on the Blorg species created during the Stellaris pre-release stream series. Was intended to be implemented at launch (due to fan request), but required some minor modifications to the game first.
Commonwealth of Man
Could be a spoof on StarCraft's Confederacy and Warhammer 40,000's Imperium of Man, as they share many traits: Military dictatorship, Xenophobia, Fanatic militarist, Laser weapons, travelling through Subspace Wormholes. Even the backstories of the Confederacy and the Commonwealth are similar: both traveled with Colony Ships to a great distance and lost contact with Earth.
Zro
The provided description of Zro as a highly addictive substance that enhances Psi abilities very closely resembles the description of 'Melange' spice from the "Dune" franchise. Also possibly a reference to the Mass Effect series, either by name to 'Element Zero' (aka 'Eezo') which plays multiple roles in the plot and 'biotic' (psionic-esque) powers, or 'red sand'; an addictive narcotic that temporarily enhances said biotic powers.
The Infinity Sphere & Gargantua
Reference to the Interstellar movie in some respects. One possible outcome causes the system to be renamed to Pantagruel, also making this a reference to Gargantua and Pantagruel, a series of novels written by François Rabelais.
The Infinite Calibrator {empire modifier)
Description mentions crew member assigned to constantly making calibrations of a ship's gun. Reference to squad member Garrus Vakarian from Mass Effect, who is constantly calibrating weapons whenever spoken to on the ship.
Artisan Troupe Enclaves
Artisan Troupe newsletters may allude to an experimental 'scentilus rift' technology. This is a reference to the 'oculus rift' virtual reality headset.
Game concepts
Governance EmpireGovernment typesPoliciesEdictsLeaderFactionsPopulation
Exploration ExplorationMapSpeciesAnomalyEventsFTLFallen empirePre-FTL speciesSpaceborne aliens
Colonization ColonizationCelestial bodyEconomyBuildingsTechnologyConstructionSpaceportFleet
Diplomacy DiplomacyTradeSubject empireAlliances and federationsAI personalities
Warfare WarfareSpace warfareLand warfareOrbital bombardmentMilitary stationShip designer
Others EthosTraitsTerraformingGenetic modificationSlaveryCrisisPreset empiresEaster eggs