The Boys Season 3: All the Real Life References

Thankfully, The Boys season 3 answers many of those pressing questions. It’s now clear that The Boys’ universe mirrors our own more than one might even have expected. Here are all the references to the “real world” that we spotted in The Boys season 3. Follow along with us throughout the season and be sure to point out any references that we may have missed.

Episode 1 – Payback

Dawn of the 7

The Boys season 3 opens up with one hell of a homage. As teased last season, Vought Corporation has produced their own blockbuster superhero film called Dawn of the 7 a la The Avengers or Justice League, Zack Snyder’s or otherwise. Naturally the events surrounding the film contain many real world references like…

  • Playing Nazi supe Stormfront is none other than Charlize Theron! This marks the second major Charlize Theron cameo in a superhero property in as any months. Does this mean that Charlize Theron is also a part of the MCU in The Boys‘ universe? Does Marvel even exist in The Boys‘ universe? That’s unclear.
  • Fictional director Adam Bourke (P.J. Byrne) had to reshoot the whole film after Stormfront’s true nature came to light. Thankfully they really paid off and fans are excited to see “The Bourke Cut” just as they were excited to see the Snyder Cut in our world. Snyder himself even had some fun with the concept on Twitter when The Boys‘ marketing campaign revealed this little detail.
  • Speaking of Bourke, at the Dawn of the 7 red carpet premiere he is wearing a “Tyrell Corp” t-shirt under his jacket. Good to know that Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner exists in The Boys.
  • All of the TV stations that interview Homelander are fictional, including the Spanish-language station “Voughtemundo!” This may be The Boys‘ version of Telemundo!
  • “Shitty fucking director. Tony Gilroy had to reshoot all your shit!” Ashley tells Bourke as they uh…aggressively copulate in the bathroom. It looks like Gilroy, who reshot much of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is every bit as real as Ridley Scott.


Finally! Confirmation that Amazon exists in the Boys‘ universe. Butcher (Karl Urban) uses his Amazon app to purchase Connect Four to play with his adopted son Ryan. Amazing that a fictional Amazon exists in The Boys and somehow did not get the rights to The Boys like it did in our own world.

The Termite Scene

Look, we don’t want to relive this traumatizing scene any more than you do. But the explosive penile moment and its aftermath do contain some real life references.

  • For starters, The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke confirmed to Den of Geek that this scene was partially inspired by the Avengers fan meme that mused as to why Ant-Man didn’t just shrink, enter into Thanos’s butt, and then expand. The Boys had already done a butt explosion in season 1 though. “Once you take the butt off the table there’s really truly only so many more orifices you can go with,” Kripke notes.
  • After the spectacularly traumatizing event, Hughie (Jack Quaid) is told that they can’t prosecute Termite because he just got a lucrative endorsement deal with Terminix, a real pest control company that is surely thrilled to now be associated with violent phalic death.
  • Vicki (Claudia Doumit) notes that Butcher fed Termite a “metric-Belushi of coke”, referring to the tragic overdose of John Belushi.

Starlight and Hughie

  • Starlight (Erin Moriarty) wears a Billy Joel shirt to bed, undoubtedly one of Hughie’s as he adores the Long Island pianist.
  • Joel’s “Uptown Girl” then scores the duo’s morning routine.
  • Hughie and Starlight debate the merits of brushing with real life toothpaste Aquafresh or real life vaginal health cream Monistat.

The Church of The Collective

With its founder missing (and in reality dead), the cultish Church of The Collective doesn’t make an appearance in season 3 yet. There are still many references to the church and its veiled comparisons to Scientology though.

  • The Deep (Chace Crawford) and his new wife Cassandra say they’re pleased to have escaped “that fucking cult.”
  • The Deep notes that Malcolm Gladwell (very much a real guy) dubbed him the next Leah Remini, the actress who in our world became notable for leaving Scientology and investigating its alleged misdeeds.
  • The Deep is an author now, though Shia LaBeouf’s ghostwriter wrote his whole book.
  • Vanity Fair calls The Deep “the thinking man’s superhero.”

Butcher and Company

  • Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) gets his daughter what appears to be an oversized Flavor Flav-style clock necklace for her birthday.
  • Mother’s Milk is also now taking Lexapro as prescribed. In our world, Lexapro is a generic SSRI used to treat depression and anxiety.
  • “Oi! Stevie Fucking Wonder! Will you knock it off?” Butcher (Karl Urban) says to Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) as she plays the piano.


  • Presidential candidate Robert Singer a.k.a. Dakota Bob (Jim Beaver) notes that Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) made a generous contribution to his Super PAC. PACs (Political Action Committees) are real life campaign donation structures that allow candidates to receive money from donors. Super PACs in particular allow for candidates to receive an unlimited amount of money from corporations, unions, associations, and individuals to campaign with. The “catch” is that the political candidates themselves cannot coordinate with these PACs but as Dakota Bob reveals here, they obviously find a way to do so anyway.
  • Dakota Bob also reveals that Black Noir did something to a Hard Rock Cafe in Lagos that should have him brought up on war crimes.


  • The Boys’ new headquarters is in the historic Flatiron Building and is well stocked with Doritos and Cheez-Its for snacking purposes.
  • A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) is drinking a shake from Shake Shack, something that Homelander immediately fat shames him for.

Episode 2 – The Only Man in the Sky

The Church of The Collective (Again)

This episode opens with more references to the fictional Church of the Collective that compare it to the very real Scientology.

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