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The Matrix franchise makes a enormous number of cultural references inspired from a wide array of sources. While it may be impossible to list all of them, partial lists of both the inspirations and real-world phenomena mentioned in the films, cartoons, games and comics follow.
- The book Simulacra and Simulation by Baudrillard is included in The Matrix when Neo takes out the disk from of a copy of the book and in "A Life Less Empty"
- Algernon Charles Swinburne's poem "Dolores" is read by Persephone in The Matrix Online chapter 8 cinematic 3, showing her library which also includes books by John Milton, Lord Byron and Goethe's Faust
- The phenomenon déjà vu is used in a scene of The Matrix, with a recurring black cat
- The band Cibo Matto is included in "There Are No Flowers in the Real World"