Ridley Scott’s The Martian has been nearly universally praised for its smart and fantastic approach to sci-fi – centering on a character who has fun while solving life-threatening problems with science – but the film also truly has a wonderful pop culture sensibility. Throughout the film, various nods and mentions are made to films and television shows, not only helping to pepper the adventure with humor and wit, but also making the characters appear more human and relatable. It’s an intelligent and perfectly utilized tool, and a particular aspect that’s worth celebrating.

Read on for five great pop culture references from The Martian!

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains many, many spoilers for The Martian. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the film just yet, we recommend clicking away to another one of our wonderful articles.

Happy Days
Happy Days
To kick things off, let’s talk about the reference that actually winds up becoming a little callback joke. The Martian first establishes a connection with the classic sitcom Happy Days as Mark Watney watches it while trying to come up with some kind of way to produce water for his potato crops. It’s towards the middle of the movie, however, that the TV classic comes back to provide movie-goers with a big laugh. It’s requested by NASA that Mark use the Pathfinder camera to take a picture of himself, and the astronaut/botanist ultimately decides that the best pose to go with in the double thumbs-up Fonzie look. It’s one of the many moments in the movie that really lets the audience appreciate just how fantastic Watney is as a character, and become emotionally invested in his survival. You can’t help but love a guy for being this silly while also stranded all alone on the surface of Mars.

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