Later in the year of the film's 1963 release, a group of young Italian writers founded Gruppo '63, a literary collective of the neoavanguardia composed of novelists, reviewers, critics, and poets inspired by 8½ and Umberto Eco's seminal essay, Opera aperta (Open Work).
"Imitations of 8½ pile up by directors all over the world", wrote Fellini biographer Tullio Kezich. The following is Kezich's short-list of the films it has inspired: Mickey One (Arthur Penn, 1965), Alex in Wonderland (Paul Mazursky, 1970), Beware of a Holy Whore (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1971), La Nuit américaine ("Day for Night") (François Truffaut, 1974), All That Jazz (Bob Fosse, 1979), Stardust Memories (Woody Allen, 1980), Sogni d'oro (Nanni Moretti, 1981), Parad Planet (Vadim Abdrashitov, 1984), La Pelicula del rey (Carlos Sorin, 1986), Living in Oblivion (Tom DiCillo, 1995), 8½ Women (Peter Greenaway, 1999), along with the successful Broadway musical, Nine (Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit, 1982; revived 2003; made into a film in 2009, directed by Rob Marshall and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Guido). Other films include Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008) and The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013).
The 1993 music video for R.E.M.'s song "Everybody Hurts" draws heavily from 8½ 's opening dream sequence, with the band stuck in a traffic jam. Subtitles of the thoughts of people trapped inside cars appear on screen until everyone abandons their vehicle to walk instead; then they vanish.
The European Network of Young Cinema NISI MASA was named after the phrase "Asa Nisi Masa" in 8½.
In 2010, the film was ranked #62 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema".