The challenge "It's WAY over 9000" for getting amounts of kills with fury is a reference to the wildly popular meme "It's over 9000!" from the anime Dragon Ball Z.
The challenge "YA RLY" for racking up certain amounts of kills for zombies with an image of an owl next to it is a reference to an internet meme with an owl and his signature catchphrase being "O RLY".
Throughout the game, a large majority of the vehicles in the game have "D34D-I574ND" on the license plates. This is obviously a reference to the title of the game, Dead Island.
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