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Portal

  • The ending song jokingly and mockingly references Black Mesa. Songwriter Jonathan Coulton also namedrops another of his popular songs, "I Feel Fantastic".
  • Doug Rattmann's den in the Companion Cube level also contains a rather well-hidden shout out to Isaac Asimov's short story "Escape". His dens all have some poems altered to include cubes and the like. Here is a full list of the graffiti drawings.

Portal 2

  • You can find a drydock, with a life preserver titled "Borealis" next to it. The Borealis is where Gordon Freeman will likely go next in the series.
  • Cave Johnson implies that Black Mesa has stolen more than one of his inventions.

 Cave Johnson: Black Mesa can eat my bankrupt-

Caroline: Sir? The testing?

Portal 2 Perpetual Testing Initiative

  • In the YouTube promo, Cave Johnson starts off talking about his father, "a Professor of Farming at the local Farm College." Cave Johnson's voice actor, JK Simmons, appears in a series of commercials for Farmers Insurance as a professor at the fictitious "University of Farmers".
  • One of the parallel Caves mentions Soylent Green.

 Cave: Memo says Soylent Green is...let's see...doubling in price. Now, I don't care how good people tastes, it's costing us more than lobster so we're all going back to fish-sticks.

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