In popular culture

  • The film is frequently referenced in the Youth in Revolt book series, being a favorite of female protagonist Sheeni Saunders, including her dreams of running off to France and her fascination for Jean-Paul Belmondo.
  • In The Doom Generation, characters play the "smile or I'll choke you" game, and the film's semi-general theme is of a "nihilistic road movie".
  • The Australian band The Death Set named their album from 2011 after main character Michel Poiccard.
  • The final scene is mentioned (and later alluded to visually) in The Squid and the Whale.
  • In the third episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, "Android and I", a 35mm reel of this film can be seen on a table, beneath a reel of Alphaville, as Togusa and Batou are investigating the house of a suspect. Other Godard works are also scattered through the scene. Dialog from this film is recited by two other characters throughout the episode. Themes from this episode parallel themes from both this movie and Godard's complete oeuvre. The climax of the episode hinges on the final lines, including one additional line, from the final scene of the film.
  • In an episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine, Sergeant Jeffords mentions Breathless when the detectives are discussing their favorite cop movies. Jeffords mistakenly identifies the film as "François Truffaut's Breathless", despite the fact that only the director's name is generally used in such a way. In reference to this error, Jeffords is seen later in the season at a party, defending his statement by saying "it's a writer's film".
  • In The Dreamers one of the protagonists re-enacts a scene from the film.
  • The final scene is recreated in Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" video.
  • In issue #30 of IDW's ongoing comic book series Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, Whirl votes for repeat showings of the film during the crew's movie night.
  • The Canadian band The Tragically Hip made a music video for the song "In View" that pays homage to the film.

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