- For a list of all references in the game, see here.
A receipt can be found in Sean's bag at Nisqually River from a fast food chain called "ACFC" which first appeared in the original Life is Strange. One of the shakes on the receipt is a reference to the movie Vanilla Sky.
The sign of the drive-thru is an old asset that relates to the original name Dontnod were using for Arcadia Bay, "Aurora Creek" (Aurora Creek Fried Chicken). Christian Divine suggested the name "Arcadia Bay" because "it just sounded more peaceful and mystic, and the word ‘Arcadia’ has all these connotations that would be fun to play with and contrast with the darkness that’s actually going on in the town. It has all these different representations and metaphors that you can look in to and work with."
The sign's texture artist, Edouard Caplain, says he "kept the same pattern KFC has" (Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)) when designing the name on the sign. The ACFC Drive-Thru's logo appears to resemble a turkey.
The All-Seeing Eye that was originally seen in Life is Strange reappears various times throughout Life is Strange 2.
All Who Wander
Brody's backpack which is given to Sean in Episode 1 features the phrase "All who wander are not lost", referencing the second line of the poem "All that is gold does not glitter" by J. R. R. Tolkien.
This is not the first time this poem has been referenced within the Life is Strange franchise. On page 12 of Max's journal, there is a sticker saying "Not all those who wander are lost", which is a direct quote of the same line of Tolkien's poem.
The song that plays in the Two Whales Diner in Episode 2 of the original Life is Strange reappears in Stephen Reynold's workshop.
Eriksen Family Trip Carving
On a picnic table in the picnic area along the Trout Spring Trail in Mount Rainier National Park, a carving with Chris Eriksen, Charles Eriksen, and Emily Eriksen's names can be found, who made their first appearances in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. The year etched below their names appears to be 2014, which is consistent with Emily's death having occurred in late December 2014.
Exit Door to Somewhere Else
Chloe Price's "Hole to Another Universe" graffiti from Season 1 is echoed in Season 2 with the "Exit Door to Somewhere Else" graffiti that can be found in Karen Reynolds' room when a lamp is turned on.
The train that Sean and Daniel jump on at the end of Episode 2 has "1337" written on its side. This is the way "leet" is spelled in an informal numerical code used on the internet. The same train originally appeared in the first Life is Strange as it passes by the junkyard in Arcadia Bay, Oregon, and previously made a second appearance in Before the Storm.
A QR code that can be found on Karen Reynolds' sports club membership card during the opening flashback in Episode 3 contains the words "work hard mustard big" - the slogan of Hawt Dawg Man, which originally appeared on a Hawt Dawg Man calendar located in a convenience store in Episode 5 of the original Life is Strange.
The motto of Paris, "Fluctuat nec mergitur," can be found on a canoe outside of the abandoned cabin. It is a Latin phrase meaning "Tossed but not sunk" and translates as "Elle est agitée par les vagues, et ne sombre pas" in French ("She is tossed by the waves but does not sink").[note 2]
In the Diaz Household's living room, a "PlayBox" (a portmanteau of two real-world console brands, PlayStation and Xbox) can be found. The "PlayBox" brand made its first appearance in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, where Chris can tell Charles that he wants one for Christmas and, later on, discover that Charles has already bought him one and is keeping it hidden in his closet.
Raoul Barbet's Dog
Life is Strange 2 marks the third appearance of Co-Game Director Raoul Barbet's dog signature on a pencil case, just like it appeared on Max Caulfield's pencil case in the original Life is Strange, and on Chris Eriksen's pencil case in Captain Spirit. It is unknown whether Raoul drew it on the pencil case texture himself or whether somebody on the art team drew it on his behalf.
Raoul's dog signature has made its appearance on pencil cases belonging to all playable characters in the Life is Strange games created by Dontnod Entertainment.
Saving a Bird
When saving the bird trapped under a box at Bear Station, Sean will say, "Fly, be free!" Max and Chloe from the original Life is Strange use this same line when freeing birds throughout the previous two games.
If Sean turns on the MP3 player in his room while preparing for the Halloween party in Episode 1, he will sing along to certain verses of the song "On The Flip Of A Coin". He will also drum his hands against his thighs to the beat.
When Sean looks at his laptop, he will say, "I'm not a selfies' kind of guy." This may be a reference to Life is Strange and Max Caulfield's love for photography. At the beginning of the game, Mark Jefferson holds a lecture about selfies.
Three Seals Motel
Cassidy's Backpack Tribute
Cassidy's backpack displays three references to things that feature in Season 1. These three things are a Pacific Steve's Famous Crab patch, a "No Fucks" patch that mirrors a young Max Caulfield's "No fucks given" scrambled-letter T-shirt, and some red plaid (possibly a blanket) that mirrors a shirt belonging to Rachel Amber, worn by Max in "Chaos Theory."
The Meta T-shirt Saga
In Episode 3, Sean wears a top that may be referencing the famous Photoshopped continuation of the Ryan Gosling and Macaulay Culkin T-shirt saga of 2014. This continuation effect is known as the Droste Effect or Mise en abyme, where a picture appears within itself where a smaller picture would be expected. This can create the appearance of an infinite loop that goes beyond the visual bounds. He wears the same top again in Episode 4.
Apps/icons on Karen's tablet are seen for a split second before the browser opens. Among these appears to be a launcher for the Hawt Dawg Man game.
Karen's Tablet Password
The sticky note on Karen's tablet hints at it having been given to Karen by someone else; additionally, the password for the tablet is 112708, which is the date David Madsen met Joyce Price. The same password is used in Life is Strange to unlock David's laptop.
Karen appears to like a character that has been recurring in Dontnod's games in the franchise. The yellow chicken originally appeared in Season 1 and was seen again in Captain Spirit. The same character can be spotted in Episode 1 at the gas station and in Episode 2 in Karen's room. In the final cutscene of Episode 4, the chicken can be seen as a dashboard ornament in Karen's car. Its last appearance is in the final episode at the bottom of an upcycled refrigerator at the remote desert commune where Karen has been living.
Within the Madsen Household in Life is Strange, a box of Skweekinax cereal can be seen on the kitchen counter. In Life is Strange 2, this brand makes a return and can be mentioned multiple times; in Episode 3, Sean can tell Cassidy that he used to enjoy making a bowl Skweekinax cocoa in the middle of the night (to which she responds that she used to eat them as well), and in Episode 4, Sean can examine a box of Skweekinax cereal in Lisbeth Fischer's house and mention that it's Daniel's favorite brand of cereal.
- While pop cultural references found on license plates were prominently featured in the original Life is Strange, the license plates in Season 2 don't appear to follow this pattern.