Chun-Li is the first playable female fighter in a one-on-one fighting game and one of the earliest female video game protagonists to achieve widespread popularity. Prior to Street Fighter II being released in 1991, most female characters in games was casted in non-playable minor roles, such as objectives to be rescued, townspeople, girlfriends, the occasional opponent, or simply background decoration; as such, there were very few heroines in action-based video games. After the success of Street Fighter II and the rise of Chun-Li's popularity, female protagonists became increasingly common. Since then, in games with selectable characters, at least one of them will almost always be female; and a number of games released since then have placed a female character in the lead role.
Like Ryu, Chun-Li has been referenced countless times in pop culture ever since her introduction in Street Fighter II. This is a page listing her references in general pop culture.
Street Fighter series Edit
- In Street Fighter III, one of Chun-Li's win quotes is "Hey leave me alone. I'm a fighter, not a news reporter." This may refer to Street Fighter: The Movie, where Chun-Li was portrayed as a news reporter.
- Chun-Li can be seen at the background of the Hong Kong stage in Final Fight 2, eating ramen at a food stall.
- Chun-Li appears in the crowd in Saturday Night Slam Masters. She can be seen at the left side, next to the ring entrance.
- In the prologue of Mega Man 9, a news reporter on the TV resembles Chun-Li, possibly referencing her movie counterpart once again.
- A policewoman bearing a striking resemblance to Chun-Li appears in the epilogue of Asura's Wrath, another video game by Capcom. She is seen scolding Kalrow's reincarnation while he rides a segway among pedestrians.
- Chun-Li's likeness appears in the game We Love Golf! as an unlockable cosplay outfit for Lisa.
- Chun-Li has a cameo appearance in the original Breath of Fire, where she can be seen in her P2 outfit practicing her lightning kicks in the thief's house in the town of Bleak if the player asks him to perform a magic trick and responds to his questions correctly. If the player beats the game with the "BrokenSD" equipped on the Hero and gets the good ending, she will also appear during it while wearing her P2 outfit.
- She also appears in the Pachislot game Chun-Li ni makase China where she has the starring role.
- In the science fiction action-adventure game Crimson Tears, after completing certain conditions, the player can unlock character skins of Chun-Li, Ryu, Guile and Sakura.
Other video games Edit
- An NPC by the name of Chun-Li can be found in a night club in Ubisoft's game Watch Dogs whose profile lists her as the subject of a foreign police report.
- In 2008, Sackboy skins for Chun-Li (along with Ryu, Guile and Zangief) were released as downloadable content in LittleBigPlanet.
- One of Peppita's alternate costumes in the PS2 RPG Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is Chun-Li's outfit.
- In Saints Row IV, a character using the Female 1 voice will shout "Spinning bird punch!" when using the taunt called "Quarter Circle Forward + A". This is because Female 1 is the current English voice actress of Chun-Li, Laura Bailey.
- In Legend of Legaia, Noa and both of her Hyper Art moves, Hurricane Kick and Jurassic Blow bear a resemblance to Chun-Li's Hyakuretsukyaku.
Comics and Manga Edit
- Chun-Li made a cameo appearance in the manhwa Faeries' Landing (Seonnyeo Ganglim).
- The Hong Kong detective Rei Dragon from the manga Kaitou Joker greatly resembles Chun-Li and has a similar profession, likely as an homage.
Television and Animations Edit
- In the Sonic X episode, "The Adventures of Knuckles and Hawk", one of the Chinese women with ox horns resembles Chun-Li.
- In the American Dad! episode "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls", Toshi's sister Akiko dresses up as Chun-Li for Halloween.
- In Ryusei Sentai Musumet, Kou Saotome bears a striking resemblance to Chun-Li's alternate appearance in Street Fighter IV. In her Automet Yellow form, the shape of her white, yellow and orange helmet resembles ox horns that half conceals her unadorned ox horns on her hair similar to Chun-Li's ribbons in Street Fighter II and onwards.
- Chun-Li and Cammy appear as a cameo in the Disney's film Wreck-It Ralph. They are seen walking together holding hands at the Game Central Station, along with many other famous videogame characters. They later reappear in the same place, but the two of them are talking to Princess Peach from the the Super Mario Bros. series. Chun-Li can also be seen in an episode of the Wreck-It Ralph TV series, "Day in a Zoo".
- Sonoda Umi in Love Live! Project season 2 episode 4, in the beginning intro; she wears a Chinese outfit that closely resembles Chun-Li's.
- In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Word", during an insult fight parodying Street Fighter, Gumball's victory chant sounds similar to Chun-Li.
- In Chappelle's Show season 2 episode 9, Dave is shown getting a massage from a Chinese woman named Chun-Li.
- In the Fresh Off the Boat episode "So Chineez", Eddie asks Jessica why she's dressed like Chun-Li after he sees her wearing a cheongsam.
- In Justice League Action, Cyborg is playing as a Chun-Li look-alike fighter named Momoi Maiko in a Street Fighter-like fighting game.
- In the live-action "movie adaptation" of City Hunter, there is a little "comic relief" sequence in wich some of the characters from Street Fighter II appear depicted. Ryo Saeba, the main character played by Jackie Chan, hilariously cosplays as Chun-Li near the end of that fighting sequence.
- In a blooper reel of the Judd Apatow comedy movie The 40-Year Old Virgin, the main character Andy attempts to fool his friends into believing he had lost his virginity with a chinese woman. When one of his friends ask for her name, he replies by saying that it was Chun-Li.
- Chun-Li's Hyakuretsukyaku and Senretsu Kyaku was used in the fan-made series Dead Fantasy by Final Fantasy character Tifa.
- Chun-Li appeared in the 16th episode of Screwattack's "Death Battle" series where she was pitted against her SNK rival, Mai Shiranui. She ends up losing and the fight ends with Mai incinerating her down to her skeleton.
- British indie rock band Arctic Monkeys has a song entitled "Chun-Li's Spinning Bird Kick" (a demo recorded before their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not), a guitar-driven instrumental track still unreleased on record, but available over the Internet.
- American Hip-Hop artist Nicki Minaj makes a reference to her in Willow Smith's song "Fireball" saying "Okay, I’m the street fighter, call me Chun-Li".
- Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean referenced her in his song, "Guantanamera" saying, "If your name was Chun-Li, we'd be playin' Street Fighter."