The 1995 song "Noch koroche dnya" ("Night is Shorter than Day") by the Russian heavy metal band Aria is based on Meursault's encounter with the chaplain in the final scene of the novel. It is also narrated from Meursault's first-person perspective and includes (in Russian) the line, "The cries of hate will be my reward / Upon my death, I will not be alone."
The 1979 first single "Killing an Arab" by The Cure was recorded at the same time as their first LP in the UK, Three Imaginary Boys (1979) but not included on the album. However, it was included on the band's first US album, Boys Don't Cry (1980). Composer Robert Smith has said that the song "was a short poetic attempt at condensing my impression of the key moments in L'Étranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus" (Cure News number 11, October 1991).
The passage in which Meursault accepts his impending execution was read over the end of the song "Asa Phelps Is Dead" by The Lawrence Arms; read by guitarist Chris McCaughan, the excerpt parallels certain themes in the song's lyrics by bassist Brendan Kelly.
In The Sopranos episode "D-Girl", Anthony Soprano Jr tells his parents that life is absurd, that the hypothetical death of his friends would be "interesting," and that there is no God. Tony and Carmela ask where this is coming from. Meadow Soprano appears at this moment and explains that Anthony was assigned The Stranger in English class, stating "This is education."
In Mad Men, themes explored in the novel are used as a backdrop for the character of Don Draper and his existential stance, starting from Season 1 (episode 1), in which Rachel Menken describes him as someone detached from others, to one of the last episodes of Season 7 (episode 12), in which "The Stranger" and On the Road are cited by Bert Cooper - appearing to Don in a vision - as the type of works Don is fond of. The representation of Don under the sun of California is also a reminder of his condition as a stranger.
In the 1990 film "Jacob's Ladder," Tim Robbins' character can be seen reading "The Stranger" during the subway scene at the beginning of the movie.
In the 2012 film Life of Pi, the titular character of Pi can be seen reading a French language copy of "The Stranger" in a flashback scene to his youth in Pondicherry, India.
In the first episode of the 2014 HBO Series The Leftovers, Tom Garvey can be seen in the middle of the night reading an English version "The Stranger", translated by Matthew Ward.
In the tenth episode of the 2014 WGN America Series Manhattan, the character Ida is seen returning a copy of the book to Elodie and comments on the book "I thought it would be racy" .
In the first season of American Horror Story, in the second episode, Violet is seen reading The Stranger in bed when her mother brings her a cupcake.
The Joe Iconis song, Kevin, deals with a young man who feels completely detached from his surroundings. The refrain states, "I can't feel a thing anymore. It's all been done before. And everything's a horrible bore. And living is a terrible chore. You know that it's true. There's nothing new to do in Brooklyn anymore". The near the end of the song, testing his apathy, the singer randomly strangles a stranger, killing her and dumping her body in an alley. However, he is "still numb".