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A Complete Pop-Culture Catalog of 'Boyhood'

July 15, 2014

If you’ve already seen Richard Linklater’s ambitious drama Boyhood, then your head’s probably spinning with the pop culture ephemera that passes through the movie. Linklater famously took 12 years to shoot the coming-of-age of its main character Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane) a boy growing up in Texas. One of the ways the film keeps track of the slow march of time is through pop culture moments like famous songs, movies, videogames, and books. Some of them serve as backdrops (remember the Wii?) while others get full scenes to themselves (turns out Mason’s a Gryffindor). Here’s our running list of the references we caught in chronological order. We’ll add more as we see the movie again, but be sure to weigh in with whatever ones we missed in the comments.

"Yellow," Coldplay

"Hate To Say I Told You So," the Hives

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling

Spider-Man T-shirt (Tobey Maguire era)

"Oops!…I Did It Again," Britney Spears

Inflatable Woody doll from Toy Story 

"Anthem Part Two" by Blink 182 

Dragon Ball Z poster and bedspread in Mason’s room

"Soak Up The Sun," Sheryl Crow

Aqua-colored iMac G3

Oregon Trail 5 videogame

Gameboy Advance SP

"Try Again," Aaliyah

Folkmanis snowy owl hand puppet

Purple Tamagotchi digital “pet”

Xbox 360

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling

iPod with white ear buds

Be Here to Love Me movie poster

"Could We," Cat Power

"Do You Realize??"The Flaming Lips

"Crank That," Soulja Boy

RipStik skateboard

The Landlord on Funny or Die

Brookstone’s FOM Fun pillows

Black MacBook

Motorola Razr cell phones

"Crazy,"Gnarls Barkley

Wii console

"We’re All in This Together" from High School Musical


Obama–Biden presidential election signs


Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, and The Dark Knight

The campfire conversation about Star Wars

"LoveGame," Lady Gaga

Toms shoes

"Good Girls Go Bad," Cobra Starship feat. Leighton Meester

"Telephone" video, Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé

 Silver MacBook Pro

"She’s Long Gone," the Black Keys

"Helena Beat," Foster the People


"Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye  

"Suburban War," Arcade Fire

 Canon EOS 5D camera

 ”Hero,” Family of the Year 

Want to see Boyhood? Visit our Showtimes page to get tickets.

With additional reporting by Breanne Heldman

Photo credit: Everett Collection