With its witty, meta attitude, the Monogatari Series is full of references and tributes to other anime, films, manga, video games, and internet memes alike. This page is meant to highlight as many as possible found in the light novel and TV series in detail in one place.
Since certain references are featured in both the light novel series and anime, light novel references will be exclusive to ones that were left out of the adaptation. Note that there's a lot of references, so this page is nowhere near complete.
References can also be found in the Cultural References section of most episode pages.
References in the Light Novels
References to other Anime/Manga
In the English publication of Kizumonogatari, upon first meeting Hanekawa after seeing her underwear, she not only calls Araragi by his full name, but also explains the exact characters to write it. This surprises him, to which he responds in narration:
"Seriously? She knew my name and face. If she had a Death Note, I'd be dead..." (Isin 24).
In the Death Note series, a death note is a notebook that causes anyone's name written in it to die, so long as the writer knows their name and face. Interestingly, Monogatari author Nisio Isin has also written a spin off Death Note novel known as Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases.
"Well, to put it Lord Frieza Style, she has two more transformations left, one for her right leg, and one for both her arms." (Isin 153).
In Dragon Ball Z, Lord Frieza is a villain who transforms multiple times in the series. He's infamous for having at least 6 different forms, each more powerful than the last.
In the second part of the Owarimonogatari anime, Koyomi imitates Yamcha's death.
References in the TV series
References to other Anime/Manga
In Tsukimonogati Episode 1, while Tsukihi is washing and playing in Koyomi's hair, she uses the foam of the soap to create a quick hairstyle to Koyomi, making his hair resembles of the famous Astro Boy's haircut.
In the second season of Owarimonogatari, Mayoi Hell, when Araragi does the typical wordplay with Hachikuji, his face takes on the form of the sutured face of Kuroo Hazama, the infamous unlicensed doctor of Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack manga.
In Owarimonogatari Episode 09, while Ononoki puts her foot mark on Araragi's face, she says: "(...)'Jinsei wa saigo ni wa Purasu, Mainasu, Zero ni naru' datte... Hah! Sore wa shindara zero ni naru no wa atari maeda tsuno!" Which means: "(...)'The life boils down to Pluses, Minuses and Zeroes'... Hah! All that's left in the end is definitely the Zero!".
This is a reference to the famous line of Misogi Kumagawa from Medaka Box: "(...)'Jinsei wa Purasu, Mainasu, Zero' datte iu yatsu wa... kimatte Purasu no yatsu nanda." Which means: "The one who said 'The life boils down to Pluses, Minuses and Zeroes' must have been a Plus."
"You won't die. Because I will protect you."
To which he responds:
"I'd prefer this conversation without random Eva references."
This is referring to a scene in Neon Genesis Evangelion where main character Shinji expresses concern to his female partner Rei that they might die in an approaching mission while getting dressed. Rei responds, stating the same exact lines as Senjougahara.
In Koyomimonogatari Episode 02, when talking about having a fence on the rooftop of the the school, imagery of Araragi mimicking the famous pose of the Colossal Titan from Attack on Titan peaking over a large wall appears on screen.
In Tsukimonogatari Yozuru Kagenui says to get on with the Resolution Arc and unravel the mystery which alludes to the Higurashi visual novel. The story structure of the VN is divided into Question and Resolution arcs. This fits in the Monogatari series due to its arc-based storytelling and use of mystery elements throughout.
References to Japanese Literature
No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai
In Nisemonogatari Episode 09, a few frames of Koyomi were changed into the famed author Osamu Dazai. His depressed pose depicted in the anime shows his stress when he was writing the novel.
References to Western Film
In Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu, as Tsubasa Hanekawa lifts her skirt to show Ararargi her panties, imagery referencing the opening to 2001: A Space Odyssey is shown, complete with the original music.
In Owarimonogatari Episode 04, the episode opens with a monologue from Araragi describing himself as a young middle schooler. One scene of imagery holds a striking resemblance to the opening of the 1962 Bond film Dr. No.
In Owarimonogatari Episode 11, when Araragi goes to Haruya Book Store to buy some things for Kanbaru, he realizes it is the first time in a while he's been completely alone, as his pairing between Shinobu had been temporarily severed. As he explains this through monologue, he exclaims "Freedom!" while imagery of him facing a rainstorm appears onscreen. This imagery is identical to the poster for the American film The Shawshank Redemption.
In Zoku Owarimonogatari Episode 05, as Koyomi talks about his conversation with Tooe Gaen to Yotsugi, he wanted Yotsugi to look at his eyes even though she's not an optometrist. The scene changes to him having an eye exam while the Mirror World Yotsugi plays the optometrist, referring to the same visuals seen in the film.
References to Western Animation
In Nekomonogatari Black Episode 02, when Shinobu, tries to escape from Araragi's hands to eat the donuts lying on the floor, he tosses her at away. When she hits the wall, it shows her drawn in a Powerpuff Girls design, with stubby legs and arms.
A key chain version of this design can also be seen in Araragi's car in Hanamonogatari Episode 04.
In Owarimonogatari Episode 03, when Araragi and Ougi talk about the letter he received in middle school, imagery describing a game show appears on screen with characters depicted in similar designs, including a male that resembles The Professor.
The female also resembles a female Inkling found in the Japanese Nintendo video game Splatoon.
References to Video Games
Seen in Zoku Owarimonogatari Episode 02, it shows Koyomi with a Fine status condition usually present Resident Evil games.
References to Internet Memes
In Bakemonogatari Episode 09, when Araragi and Kanbaru witness Sengoku topless to show her scars, they mimic a popular internet picture depicting four men excitedly reacting to the 2004 Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess trailer.