Easter eggs

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Like its predecessor, Europa Universalis IV has a number of Easter eggs and references to popular culture. Many of these are included for the player's amusement when particular events happen. This is a non-exhaustive list of Easter eggs present in EU4. Additions are welcome.

TV , animation and film references

Lord of the Rings
The flag of Saruhan is based on the White Hand of Saruman.
Two decisions (formerly missions) for Aragon are based on punning "Aragon" for "Aragorn": "Become King of Gonder" and "Defeat Saruhan".
The seventh national idea for Aragon is "Protect the Little Folk", which is a reference to Hobbits, which are often called the Little Folk in the Lord of the Rings.
The achievement "One Family to Rule them all" is a reference to the iconic line "One Ring to rule them all" from the Lord of the Rings. The icon also shows the eye of Sauron.
Back to the Future
"Back to the Piast" achievement makes a pun of Poland's first ruler's name. The achievement's icon depicts a red-white car similar to the film's iconic DeLorean.
The Godfather
Event "Visit from some shady people" has event options as a modified line from the film. "An offer..." "...we can refuse."
Braveheart
Event "For Freedom!" has a description taken straight from the film's famous speech.
Event "The Highlanders Arrive" has a description taken from the prelude of the film's depiction of the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The event "Fear and Loathing in $PROVINCE$" is a reference to the book and the film.
The Shining
The events "The Discovery" and "Dance Macabre" contain references to the film The Shining.
Pirates of the Caribbean
The achievement "No Pirates in my Caribbean" is a reference to the Disney franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean.
Monty Python
Castillian/Spanish National Idea "The Spanish Inquisition" has the description "No one expected it."
The Canadian National Idea "Singing Lumberjacks" is a reference to the Lumberjack Song from Monty Python.
The Scornful Insult "Your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Dr. Strangelove
The description of the Bavarian National Idea "Bring in the Bavarian Purity Law" references General Ripper's paranoia over "bodily fluids" in the film.
300
The achievement "This is Persia!" is a reference to the famous "This is Sparta!" line in the movie, 300.
Blade Runner
The in-game description of the colonial event Colonial Enthusiasm contains a reference to the constant recruitment of volunteers to the "off-world" colonies in Blade Runner.
Star Wars
The Buddhists Strike Back.jpg
The Buddhists Strike Back achievement added in patch 1.12 is a reference to the fifth (second chronologically) episode of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The image for this achievement represents a variation of Flag of Ceylon Ceylon's flag, with a lightsaber instead of the Sri Lankan sword.
Father Ted
Just Resting In My Account.jpg
The achievement Just Resting In My Account is a reference to the British-Irish sitcom Father Ted. The image for this achievement depicts the series' protagonist, Father Ted Crilly, who repeatedly defends his dubious finances by claiming that "that money was just resting in my account."
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
The achievement The Fezzan Corridors is a reference to a spatial navigation corridor in Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Jem and the Holograms
Event "Faceting" has "Gems are truly outrageous." as only option.

Video game references

Civilization V
The description for transport ships in EUIV states, "Everybody knows that soldiers simply cannot turn into boats", mocking the game mechanics in Civilization V where land units can, in fact, become boats after obtaining the "Embark" promotion.
Assassin's Creed
For converted Crusader Kings II games, the Hashashin's first national idea is named: "Hashashin's Creed".
Super Mario Bros.
The achievement "The Princess is in this Castle" and its icon are a reference to Super Mario Bros.
Zero Wing
The achievement "All Your Trade Are Belong to Us" and its icon are a reference to Zero Wing.
For the Glory
The achievement For the Glory may be a reference to For the Glory game published by Paradox Interactive.

Music references

Madonna
The only option for the event "Justify my War!" uses lyrics from the song "Justify my Love".
The achievement Subsidize my love name is a modified version of the same song.
Metallica
The name for the event "Back to the Front" uses lyrics from the song "Disposable Heroes".
Nick Cave
The name and options for the event "The Weeping Song" uses lyrics from the song "The Weeping Song".
Queen
The achievement "Queen of Mercury" is a reference to Freddie Mercury and his band, Queen. The provinces required obtain the achievement are where he was born (Zanzibar) and grew up (North Konkan, a.k.a. Bombay).
Timbuktu
The achievement "Nobody wants to die", which requires you to own the province of Timbuktu as Songhai, is a reference to the Swedish musician Timbuktu who wrote a song with the lyrics "Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die."
The Beatles
The achievement "Norwegian Wood" is a reference to the Beatles song of the same name.

Literature references

The Lord of the Rings reference mentioned above is both a film and a literature reference.
Shakespeare
The Venetian event "Expand into the 'Terra Ferma'" uses a line from the prologue to the play Romeo and Juliet.
Fairy tales
The achievement "The Emperors New Clothes" is a reference to the Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.
The first option of the event "Dance Macabre" is a reference to the tale of the Three Little Pigs.
A Song of Ice and Fire
The achievement "The Iron Price" is a reference to House Greyjoy from George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire", pirates known for calling reaving "paying the iron price".
Dune
The achievement "The Spice Must Flow" gets its name from the Dune series of novels by Frank Herbert and the spice substance that features prominently in it.
John Carter of Mars
Several of the province and sea tile names used in the random new world system are taken from the fantasy series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. (Barsoom, Sea of Omean, et. al.)

Paradox Interactive references

  • Names of the people involved with developing the game appear in numerous places. For example, the Lux Stella events which gives you a fantastic heir has an option to name the heir Johan after the lead of Paradox Development Studio. Martin Anward, who was the project lead for Europa Universalis IV for several years, appears as a cameo in some event pictures, notably Riches of the Dhimmi.
  • The event "Comet Sighted" unnecessary extra options is a throwback to Europa Universalis III when players complained in the Paradox Interactive forums of the event not having enough options.
  • Stockholm, where Paradox Interactive is located, is province ID 1. (Because of this, if one enters nothing in the find province search, it will show you Stockholm on the map.)
  • While not intended to be an easter egg, the observe button did not work properly (its console command does however work) and would set players as Sweden before it was removed in Patch 1.6.

Other references

Sports
Event "A New Religion Spreads?" on the popularity of association football (soccer).
The achievement "The Bohemians" probably refers to the Dublin football team Bohemian F.C.
Before Patch 1.14, the leader name list for Trebizond consisted of members of the Turkish football team Trabzonspor.
Something Awful forum
The only option for the event "A Swedish City" says, "That isn't something awful..."
Anime
The Achievement "Sailor Mon" references the name of anime "Sailor Moon".
Manga
The Japanese decision (formerly mission) "Recover Manga" puns on a province in Africa.