The Mad Max series of films has had a significant impact on modern popular culture. Mad Max references are deeply embedded in popular culture; references to its dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic themes and bizarre landscape and desolate wasteland imagery have inspired some artists to emulate the look and feel of some aspect of the series in their work.
James Wan and Leigh Whannell credit the film's final scene, in which Johnny is given the option of cutting off either the resistant chain or his own foot to escape, for inspiring the entire Saw series.
The music video for the 2001 single "Addicted to Bass" by Puretone was heavily inspired by the opening chase sequence in Mad Max featuring a Pursuit Special. Two Falcon XB coupes were used in the video - one painted in the livery of the MFP vehicles seen in the film.
Pop singer Ke$ha noted that the vibe of her Get $leazy Tour (2011) was "very heavily influenced" by the Mad Max series. Several of the costumes she and her friends wear throughout the show are very reminiscent of characters throughout the Mad Max franchise.
Games Workshop sponsored rock band D-Rok make reference to numerous characters from Mad Max in the song King Hibited, including Johnny and the Toecutter, though they refer to the Acolytes as "the Apostles".
A lot of Early Queens of the Stone Age and The Desert Sessions' songs titles are references to the first movie.
Game designer Hideo Kojima has said that Mad Max 2 is one of his top 5 favorite movies of all time and has inspired him a lot in his game franchise, Metal Gear Solid. His favorite aspect of the film is how it tells a lot about its characters without explaining it through words.
In the episode of Nickelodeon's Rugrats "The Sky is Falling", there is an end of the world scene which parodies Mad Max 2. They are heading down a road in the desert toward an abandoned city. Their vehicles are engineered out of other things (cribs, tricycles, etc.). One of the characters, Chuckie, is piloting a Gyrocopter and is dressed very similarly to the gyro captain (leather cap, shirt, tan colors, et al.).
In the episode of Disney's Recess "The Fuss Over Finster" chaos breaks loose on the playground. A "bike gang" consisting of four children on bicycles wearing costumes based on those worn in The Road Warrior makes several appearances.
In the level creator downloadable content for Portal 2, Cave Johnson, the narrator says "Cave Johnson here. Just a reminder that the core goal of Aperture Gas-Finding Science is to find gas, so make sure you let us know if you see any. If we meet our quarterly gas-finding target, I promise you we will don our bondage gear, fuel our death cars, and drive around in circles, whooping it up and shooting arrows at people. Who is ready to rule the wasteland? All right, start looking."
The Fallout series of videogames, which has a post-apocalyptic world as their setting, lists Mad Max as one of its influences. For example, in the first and second games, one of the first available armors is a one-sleeved leather jacket that closely resembles the jacket worn by Mel Gibson in the film. Also, in the series the player character can acquire various companions that will accompany the player and help him in his quest; one of the companions in the first game is a dog that resembles the one that follows Max in Mad Max 2. A secret location in the second Fallout game allows the player to find the dog character again, and a nearby companion will remark that he'd seen it hanging around with a tough guy wearing black leather. The second Fallout game also features a driveable car that resembles Max's Pursuit Special.
Mad Max 2 is referenced multiple times in South Park. A poster for the film (as "The Street Warrior") is seen frequently in Stan's room in the later seasons. In the episode Proper Condom Use, there is a climatic gender battle between the children of the town with various visual nods to the film. Butters is even dressed up as 'Lord Humungus' and quotes his "just walk away" speech. Another episode of the show, Eat, Pray, Queef, features a female senator demonstrating a queef called "The Road Warrior" that consists of her queefing Lord Humongous' speech to Wez.
Professional wrestling tag team The Road Warriors (also known as The Legion of Doom) were heavily inspired by "Mad Max 2", both in their name and their attire, which saw them wear spiked shoulder pads and face paint to the ring. Road Warrior Animal would later adopt Max Rockatansky's look from the film for his singles run in the WWE, going by the name of The Road Warrior.
Another professional wrestling tag team, Demolition, debuted in the WWF in 1987 as their version of the Legion of Doom. Their look was based on Lord Humungus from the film as they wore leather studded outfits and leather hockey masks to the ring.
The wrestling character Lord Humongous in the Memphis territory, played by a variety of men over the years, was based on the movie villain.
Professional wrestler Chris Jericho often referred to himself as "The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla", a name that Lord Humungus refers to himself as.
Professional wrestling tag team The Ascension, heavily influenced by The Road Warriors, sport a look even more heavily inspired by the film's marauders, with Konnor bearing a striking resemblance to Wez.
The Discworld book, The Last Continent, features a character known only as "Mad", and who is clearly an expy of Max Rockatansky. Mad is a dwarf clad all in black leather, who races through the XXXX (Discworld's version of Australia) desert in a very fast and heavily-customised cart, while being pursued by gangs who are after his fuel (i.e. hay).
The 1996 music video for 2Pac's "California Love" includes elements inspired by the Mad Max film, such as car chases in the desert and the Thunderdome itself, according to director Hype Williams.
World Championship Wrestling held a "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" match at their Halloween Havoc 1992pay-per-view event between Sting and Jake "The Snake" Roberts that was based on the film. The match was promoted with a segment where Sting and Roberts met in a tavern full of tough customers that resembled Bartertown. The stipulation of their match would be determined by spinning a wheel, similar to the scene in which Max's punishment is determined by a wheel. The bar patrons repeatedly chant "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" like in the film.
In Tyler, The Creator's music video "Fucking Young", a sequence takes place at the end which shares the same aesthetic of the movie.
In the video game Wasteland 2, the War Rig is seen in a level.
In a music video by the South Korean Pop Group Big Bang, entitled "Bang Bang Bang", numerous costumes and props are similar to that of the Mad Max films. The back-up dancers are reminiscent of Fury Road's War Boys mechanics, while the use of flame throwers, outlandish dress, dust and grease smeared sets, and also the extravagant performances, are also references to the franchise's most recent film.
Conan O'Brien spoofed the film in an opening sequence for the show's 2015 Comic-Con special.