Tomb Raider is seen as one of the most innovative franchises from the 1990s. While the series' popularity has fluctuated over the years, it is still considered incredibly important to the evolution of gaming, particularly to 3D platforming and third person shooters.
Lara Croft has also attained iconic status, being considered by many to be the greatest heroine in gaming. However this popularity is not limited to gaming, but pop culture in general. This popularity has led to many appearances, references, homages, parodies and even ripoffs through the years.
Ali G Indahouse Edit
In the 2002 movie Ali G Indahouse, whilst breaking into the a manor house Ali states "The great hall is exactly like the one in Lara Croft's house. Y'know from Tomb Raider II on PlayStation."
Interestingly, the film features Rhona Mitra as Kate Hedges, the Deputy Prime Minister's assistant. Mitra was the model for Lara Croft from 1997-1998.
American Dad! Edit
In the third season episode of the animated TV series American Dad!, Failure is not a Factory Installed Option, the character Steve Smith directly compares the figure of a girl in his school to that of Lara Croft.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Edit
The 2013 video game, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, has an optional assassination contract titled "Tomb Raiders."
Assassin's Creed IV' DLC expansions Freedom Cry and Aveline, were written by Jill Murray, who would later go on to become the head writer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Barbie: Explorer Edit
The 2001 video game Barbie: Explorer, is considered to be a clone of the Tomb Raider series in terms of gameplay. The main character of Barbie also sports similar attire to Lara Croft, donning short-shorts, and wearing her hair in a braid (also playing the game in two player mode will cause player 2 to have a palette swap version of Barbie with brown hair, causing her to bare even more resemblance to Lara.) Many of the animations in game look similar to those feature in older Tomb Raider games, with the monkey bars animation being almost identical to the animation used in Tomb Raider III up to Tomb Raider: Chronicles. The game also features Egypt and Tibet as locales visited in game, both of which featured in Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider II and Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon Edit
In the 2003 video game Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, the character of Nico Collard will wear shorts, boots and a backpack (the backpack is hard to see due to her hat hanging around her neck) similar to that of Lara Croft during the sections of the game set in the Congo, Egypt and Glastonbury.
Interestingly, the Broken Sword series launched around the same time as Tomb Raider in late 1996, and Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon was released several months after Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, both games also featured Paris and Prague as key locations to the game.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped Edit
In the 1998 video game Crash Bandicoot: Warped, the level "Tomb Wader" is an obvious play on the Tomb Raider series, the level features an Egyptian aesthetic.
Interestingly the Crash series debuted only a few moths before Tomb Raider in 1996. Additionally the series was initially developed by Naughty Dog, who would later go on to make the Uncharted series, which is often compared to Tomb Raider. The first three games in the series were written and directed by Amy Hennig, a former employee of Crystal Dynamics, who would later go on to become the primary developer of Tomb Raider.
Deadfall Adventures Edit
The 2013 video game Deadfall Adventures, is inspired by multiple adventure franchises. It features the main characters searching for a treasure linked to Atlantis which is located within Egypt, similarly to the original Tomb Raider.
In the US TV series Dexter, the first season episode "Let's Give The Boys A Han" Dexter's girlfriend Rita shows up at his apartment in a Lara Croft Halloween costume, with the intention§ of seducing him.
Duke Nukem: Time to Kill Edit
In the 1998 video game Duke Nukem: Time to Kill, a strip club can be explored, where Lara's tank top and shorts can be found hanging up in a changing room. If found, Duke Nukem will refer to the outfit as "skanky."
Final Fantasy X-2 Edit
in the 2003 video game Final Fantasy X-2, the class system takes the form of "Dresspheres" which will change the characters attire and weaponry. The "Gunner" Dressphere, will give the character two pistol weapons, and dress them in garb similar to that associated with Lara Croft, namely, short shorts and crop tops, the Gunner garb is the default Dressphere of Yuna, the game's protagonist.
Also, the narrative of the game involves the characters working as "Sphere Hunters" which involves seeking artifacts called "spheres" that offer insight into the past, making it very similar in practice to archaeology.
Hitman: Absolution Edit
In the 2012 video game Hitman: Absolution, in the mission Birdie's Gift, there is a brand of accessories known as "Lady Croft" which includes, ammo bags and shooting mats.
Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine Edit
The 1999 video game Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, is heavily inspired by Tomb Raider, having very similar controls to the original Tomb Raider timeline. The most obvious similarities to Tomb Raider, involve item collection, in which Jones will crouch done to lift the item, while the camera spins around to show him from the front, which was the signature look of item collection in early Tomb Raider games. On top of this, Jones may say "Aha" while finding secret items, while a xylophone chime will play, both of these were mainstays of the original Tomb Raider timeline. This is rather ironic given that Tomb Raider was inspired by Indiana Jones and was even initially planned to star a man who looked similar to Jones.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Edit
The 2017 movie, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, features the titular game Jumanji, takes on the form of a video game. The movie used video games tropes and questionable logic of video games as a point of humor, one which was the character of Ruby Roundhouse, played by Karen Gillan. The character design is heavily inspired by Lara Croft, baring closest resemblance to Lara's Outfit from Tomb Raider: Legend. The character Martha, who takes on the role of Roundhouse, questions why she would be wearing a crapped shirt and short shorts in the jungle.
King of the Hill Edit
In the animated TV series King of the Hill, Tomb Raider has several references. In the episode Little Horrors of Shop, when Peggy is trying to teach the class about voting, several students vote for Lara Croft, which Peggy mispronounces as "Laura," In the episode Rodeo Days, Hank is relieved that his son Bobby is not playing video games as often after getting a job, citing Tomb Raider by name, and seeming unsettled that Bobby would play a game where he was playing as a girl. In the episode Get Your Frea Off, Bobby can be seen playing a game that has a female character that resembles Lara.
Life is Strange Edit
In the 2015 video game Life is Strange, The main character Max Caufield remembers saying that she wanted to be like Lara Croft and travel the world and go on adventures, when she was younger. There is also an art museum called "Kroft Gallery," which is owned by a woman called "Amanda Kroft"
Looney Tunes Edit
The Looney Tunes series has several references to Tomb Raider. The 2001 video game Sheep, Dog & Wolf was sold in North America as Looney Tunes: Sheep Raider. The 2004 movie, Looney Tunes Back in Action, the character Kate Houghton dons similar garb to Lara Croft whilst she and the other characters seek out a temple hidden in the middle of the jungle. A 2012 episode of the animated series The Looney Tunes Show, part of the episode features the character Lola Bunny, dressed like Lara Croft, her ears even being tied int a braid to complete the look.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Edit
In the 2008 movie The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the character Evy O'Connell (Maria Bello), a British archaeologist and former spy, during the climax of the film, dual wields a pair of FN Hi-Power pistols. The FN Hi-Power is the Belgian version of the Browning Hi-Power pistol, which was Lara's weapon of choice from Tomb Raider to Tomb Raider: Chronicles. Another similarity is is that Evy and her husband had moved into a large manor in the countryside, she also writes about her former adventures much like the original version of Lara.
Murdered: Soul Suspect Edit
In the 2014 video game Murdered: Soul Suspect, reading the minds of civilians may reveal them wondering. "What is that game with the woman who raids the tombs?"
Pitfall: The Lost Expedition Edit
In the 2004 video game Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, there is a running gag involving the character of Nicole McAllister, who becomes progressively more disheveled and scantily clad as the game goes on, until she is only wearing a cropped tank tap, short shorts and boots, resembling Lara's South Pacific Outfit from Tomb Raider III. As well as this she wears a similar jacket to the one Lara wore in Tomb Raider II when she is in snowy areas. Nicole is playable by using a cheat code.
In the 2003 video game Primal, there is a cemetery on the world Artha where you can find a headstone inscribed with "R.I.P. Laura Cruft 2003". This may be a reference to The Angel of Darkness, which had been postponed several times until it finally reached stores on 1st July 2003.
Ready Player One Edit
Lara makes a lot of brief appearances in the 2018 film, Ready Player One, which features a virtual reality world that is comprised of all elements of pop culture including movies and video games.
Red Alert 2: Yuri's RevengeEdit
In Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge, there is a operation called "Tomb Raided".
In the mission, Tanya is portrayed as a parody of the Tomb Raider franchise's Lara Croft and she even infiltrated the great pyramid in Egypt to rescue Einstein.
Robot Chicken Edit
The TV series Robot Chicken has had two allusions to Lara Croft. The first being in the sketch "Spring of the Drowned Girl" in which the Nerd character imagines himself cosplaying as Lara Croft in a scenario in which he's transformed into a woman. The second was a parody of Tomb Raider itself, in which Lara traverses a tomb filled with mummies and various other monsters which she promptly kills, despite the monsters being friendly and welcoming of her, the sketch ends with Lara shooting comedienne Tracy Ullman.
Shadow Warrior Edit
In the 1997 video game Shadow Warrior, Lara Croft can be seen chained in a dungeon. In the beta version of Shadow Warrior, Lara was in much rougher shape, and it was replaced with the classic look in the final game.
The Simpsons Edit
The Simpsons media franchise has had numerous references to Tomb Raider. In an issue of Bongo Comics' The Simpsons Comic, Tomb Raider was parodied for a story dubbed "Storeroom Raider" in which the cover art depicts Lisa dressed as Lara. Lara herself later made a cameo appearance in Issue #164. Homer is having a dream in which she suddenly approaches him and begins flirting with him. He asks her how to defeat Takamoto in Tomb Raider: Legend. Lara tells him that would be cheating. In the 2007 The Simpsons Game, the second level which is set in a museum, has a puzzle room inspired by Aztec design, how one of the statues, is of a large breasted woman whose appearance is modeled on Lara Croft.
In the 2018 video game Spider-Man, there is a chain of book stores called "Tome Raider." The logo for the store uses a similar font to the original timeline of Tomb Raider games.
Interestingly, Spider-Man launched launched just one week before Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Also Brian Horton, Rise of the Tomb Raider's director, left Crystal Dynamics to work at Insomniac where he worked as a director on Spider-Man.
Spyro: Year of the Dragon Edit
In the 2000 video game Spyro: Year of the Dragon, a character called Tara can be met on the Desert Ruins world. Tara is an anthropomorphic mouse who is a treasure hunter, Tara wears identical clothes to the original incarnation of Lara Croft.
Tad, The Lost Explorer Edit
In the 2012 animated movie Tad, The Lost Explorer (known in Spanish as Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones), the female lead Sara Lavrof, an archaeologist, dresses in a similar manner to Lara to seek out the lost city of Paititi. In the sequel she briefly uses a climbing axe gets a jade pendant similar to the Survivor Timeline version of Lara.
Interestingly in the English dub of the first movie, the lead character, Thaddeus "Tad" Stones (known in Spanish as, Tadeo Jones) is voiced by Kerry Shale, who previously voiced Werner Von Croy.
Also, in the first movie, the plot revolves around finding the lost city of Paititi, which Lara would later end up seeking in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Totally Spies Edit
In the third season of the Canadian cartoon series Totally Spies, Lara appears as a holographic trainer for the main characters in the show. Her appearance here is based on her wetsuit from The Cradle of Life.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Edit
In the video 2016 game Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, the game's sixteenth chapter "The Brother's Drake", revolves around a teen-aged protagonist Nathan Drake and his brother Sam breaking into a secluded manor filled with countless priceless artifacts. The house is owned by an elderly British explorer named Evelyn, who appears to be a tribute to Lara Croft as a magazine can be found in her house, showing her at a young age, with a cover line reading "The Treasure of Xian." Which is a direct reference to Tomb Raider II.
Warehouse 13 Edit
In the second season episode of the American TV series Warehouse 13, Buried, the character H.G. Wells wears a tank top, short shorts and boots, and has her hair tied in a ponytail. When she is looked at quizzically, she says "What? I checked, this is what fashionable British archaeologists are wearing nowadays." which is retorted with "No, but it's what American filmmakers think fashionable British archaeologists are wearing nowadays."
The rest of the episode involves the team traversing a booby trap filled building in Egypt. Wells uses a grapple gun similar to the one Lara used in Tomb Raider: Underworld.
Wreck-It Ralph Edit
In the 2012 movie, Wreck-It Ralph, The lead Character Ralph, sarcastically claims he is Lara Croft when he is stopped at a security checkpoint.